FRAUD CASE RAMPING UP
Trio of detectives assigned to fraud investigation as allegations escalate
A team of three detectives has been tasked with an investigation into an alleged fraudster because of the “volume of witnesses and complainants that have come forward”, police say. Police allege Rochelle Phyllis Arends, Arends 23, 23 pictured, targeted elderly and vulnerable victims in Albany, stealing up to $25,000.
A trio of detectives have been tasked with leading an ongoing investigation into a woman accused of stealing at least $25,000 from elderly people in Albany.
Rochelle Phyllis Arends, 23, has been charged with 11 counts of fraud and seven counts of stealing.
The Spencer Park woman made her first appearance in Albany Magistrate's Court last week, verbally abusing members of the media as she arrived.
Police allege Ms Arends targeted elderly and vulnerable victims between September 15, 2020 and May 5, 2021, making ATM withdrawals against their wishes and accessing internet banking to make cash transfers.
Police also allege she befriended victims and stole property from their homes.
Detective Acting Insp. Darryl Noye confirmed yesterday he had assigned a team to investigate more claims against Ms Arends.
The three detectives have started interviewing several elderly men, who have come forward since news of Ms Arends' arrest on May 27.
“Police have been approached by half a dozen further alleged victims of this woman,” Acting Insp. Noye said.
“Albany detectives have a team working on this as a priority. There are three detectives dedicated to this because of the volume of witnesses and complainants that have come forward.
“We will anticipate it will take a month to identify any further alleged offending.”
As she arrived at court on Thursday, Ms Arends insulted members of the media, asking them if they had anything better to do and calling them “c...suckers”.
Once inside court, her defence lawyer, Kyah Langdon, requested an adjournment so her client could seek further legal advice before entering pleas.
Magistrate Dianne Scaddan granted an adjournment and extended her bail.
Her bail conditions include a 24hour curfew.
Ms Arends is due back in court on July 1.