Man admits cheating on elderly couple by faking military service
An Upper Bucks County man has admitted defrauding a Middletown Township couple out of hundreds of thousands of dollars and lying about his military service.
Marc A. Cheeseman, 50, of Silverdale Borough, appeared before Bucks County Common Pleas President Judge Wallace Bateman on Monday morning to plead guilty in the case. He pleaded guilty to several counts, including theft by deceit and misrepresentation by a member or veteran of the military.
Sentencing was postponed by Bateman at Cheeseman’s request. The judge ordered a pre-sentence hearing and psychological evaluation, while Cheeseman was remanded to the Bucks County Correctional Facility in Doylestown Township.
Cheeseman convinced an elderly Middletown Township couple who met him through friends to pay $319,882.65 over several years. He told them he was a veteran and a former union member whose pension money was blocked, according to court documents.
One of the victims spoke out in court on Monday, saying the Cheeseman scam left her and her husband penniless and ruined a legacy of savings.
The woman called Cheeseman “a rotten person who would look you in the eye and lie to you”.
“He robbed our family of everything we worked so hard for,” she said, noting that her credit rating had dropped significantly from its peak of 800.
Not only did the couple run out of money, but they had to sell prized classic cars and other items just to pay their taxes after Cheeseman took their money.
The woman said Cheeseman not only took their money, but destroyed their 2013 F-150 after letting her borrow it.
In November 2020, the elderly couple went to the Middletown Township Police Department to report that they had been defrauded. The couple, who live in the Levittown section of the township, said they gave Cheeseman loans totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars from June 2017 to November 2020.
According to court documents, the investigation revealed that Cheeseman received loans from the couple in cash, credit card purchases, bank transfers, personal checks, jewelry and pawned valuables, proceeds of the sale of two classic cars and the use of an EZ-Pass.
Officials say a detective discovered the couple authorized Cheeseman to take the money after presenting them with documents that turned out to be fake.
Cheeseman told the couple he was a United States Marine Corps veteran and had a pension from the US Navy and District 1017 Carpenter’s Union, but the funds were frozen and the money would help release his pensions, authorities said.
The Internal Revenue Service, Superior Court of Philadelphia/And Or Pennsylvania, Bucks County Public Defender Office, Bank of America and New Jersey Department of Taxation were among the organizations cited as having issued some of the fraudulent documents. , according to the police.
“Each of these documents was found to be fraudulent and contained multiple spelling, grammar and syntax errors,” police said, adding that they were forged documents.
The union Cheeseman claimed to be a member of, based in the Pacific Northwest, confirmed he had never been a member, according to police, who also found he had never been a member of the military .
Detective Megan Freer discovered Cheeseman lost $159,889 at Parx Casino in Bensalem Township and $6,939.27 at Valley Forge Casino in Montgomery County between 2017 and 2020, police said.
Cheeseman, through attorney Peter Williams, requested on Monday that the sentencing be postponed to give him more time to submit evidence of his character in court.
The judge noted that Cheeseman’s own sister wrote a letter to the court on behalf of the victims.
On Monday, Cheeseman also pleaded guilty to driving with a suspended license at Core Creek Park in 2021 and a DUI from Middletown Township in 2019.
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