Mother claims son accused of scamming grandfather is also a victim

A mother’s warning after son arrested for grand theft. (WPEC)

A vulnerable elderly man from New Jersey tricked out of thousands of dollars by a sophisticated con-artist. The suspect, right here in our own backyard.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office arrested Jason Moreland, 20, and charged him with grand theft of $20,000. He could face up to 15 years in prison.

PBSO posted his mug shot on social media Wednesday. It said ‘his victim transferred a large sum of money to an account Moreland admitted to withdrawing the funds. Welcome to Jail, Jason!’”

The suspect’s mother claims he’s not the criminal, but a victim himself.

“Not only was my son gullible, and now he’s going to be in trouble for what he did on his part, even though he had the scam ran on him, he was still part of a scam on somebody else,” said Helena Ragregui, Jason’s mother.

She said Jason had no idea the funds wired to his account multiple times were from an elderly man.

“He was supposedly doing a favor for his friend that was helping his friend out. Like, ‘Hey they don’t have an account, let me borrow your account’,” Helena explained.

According to the arrest report, June 2017, the New Jersey man fell victim to a caller claiming he was a lawyer, and that his son was involved in a deadly crash and needed thousands of dollars wired to a Wells Fargo Bank in West Palm Beach.

Turns out, the account was under Jason’s name.

The mother broke in tears after hearing the news. “My son would not do this to anybody,” Helena said.

Helena describes her son as naïve, but kind and would never rip off elderly people.

Helena spoke exclusively to CBS12.

She shared his side of the story to warn parents this can happen to anybody and hopes it doesn’t happen to their child.

“Ignorance of the law is still no excuse for breaking the law,” Helena said.

Deputies were able to catch Jason because the wire transfers were linked to his Wells Fargo account, plus they had surveillance photos of Jason withdrawing those funds.

Right now, his friends are not facing charges as deputies cannot prove their involvement.

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