Perinton, NY (April 30, 2021) – Beginning in late March, a scam involving securing cash bail money from elderly victims began across Western New York. The elderly victim receives a phone call from someone purporting to be a relative and tells the victim they were involved in an accident and need bail money. A fictitious attorney or police officer takes over the phone call and directs the victim to go to their bank and withdraw large amounts of cash to be used as bail and secure their relative’s release. A “courier” arrives at the victim’s home and takes the cash. Frequently these elderly victims are directed to make multiple cash payments before they become aware of the scam.

Since March 22nd, The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office has investigated five “bail” scams occurring within Monroe County, with an aggregate dollar amount of $106,400 stolen or attempted to be stolen.

On 4/29/21, MCSO Investigators conducted surveillance after receiving another report of a bail scam. The elderly victim was directed to secure $13,500 cash to effect the release of her son from jail in Florida. At approximately 3:30 PM, two suspects arrived at the victim's home at an address in the Town of Perinton with the purpose of collecting the “bail” money. One of the suspects, later identified as Jamel J. Aciego (18 years old), exited the vehicle and rang the doorbell. After failing to make contact with the victim he walked away from the residence. Aciego was confronted by MCSO deputies, resisted arrest and was ultimately taken into custody prior to money changing hands.

The other suspect, later identified as Victor A. Lopez (20 years old), was the driver of the vehicle. MCSO deputies attempted to stop the vehicle. Lopez fled the scene, recklessly driving his vehicle past deputies. Lopez continued northbound on Fellows Rd. and crashed into a swamp on the north side of the intersection of Fellows Rd. and Penfield Rd. in the Town of Penfield after running through a stop sign at the intersection. Deputies located Lopez at the scene of the accident and was taken into custody without incident. Lopez suffered minor injuries from the crash and was treated and released from Strong Hospital back to MCSO custody.

MCSO charged Jamel J. Aciego, 18, Miami, Florida and Victor A. Lopez, 18, Miami, Florida with: Attempted Grand Larceny 2nd (Class-D Felony) and Conspiracy 5th (Class-A Misdemeanor).

Through the investigation it was learned that both suspects are from Miami, Florida and have no ties to Western New York. They were arraigned in Perinton Town Court and released back into the community. These individuals are believed to be involved in similar recent cases across our region to include Genesee and Erie Counties. MCSO and other law enforcement agencies are working with the FBI as it’s believed that these individuals are involved in similar incidents in other states. The mugshots are being withheld at this time as the investigation is ongoing.