BROOKSVILLE — Indalesio "Indy" Basaldua's fraud scheme likely started with stolen mail, detectives say.
According to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office, Basaldua was able to gain access to Donald Acreman Jr.'s savings account at Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union and steal $43,000. Acreman of Brooksville is in the Army and on active duty in Korea.
Basaldua, a transient, told an acquaintance that he had come into some money but didn't have an identification card to get the money out of his own account, said Detective Dustin Mormando. He asked to transfer the money into the man's account for him to withdraw.
Basaldua, 29, transferred the $43,000 by telephone from Acreman's account into the account of Acreman's mother, Susan, Mormando said, then a majority of it into the account of his acquaintance. The rest was transferred to another man's account.
Mormando started an investigation in November after Acreman's mother, who is managing her son's account, reported suspicious activity. Mormando suspects Basaldua got Acreman's account information by stealing mail and created or changed a personal identification number by phone.
Basaldua was already wanted on warrants for fraudulent use of a credit card and violating a domestic violence injunction. He was found Tuesday hiding in a closet in a home on Powell Road, south of Brooksville. He is charged with organized fraud, possession of methamphetamine and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
He remained in the Hernando County Detention Center on Thursday in lieu of $80,500 bail. Records show he has served two stints in state prison for burglary and battery and was released in February.
The credit union reimbursed Acreman and has recovered about $25,000 of the money, Mormando said.
Times news researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Tony Marrero can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 848-1431. Follow @tmarrerotimes on Twitter.