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‘Bank robber who tricked collectors stole rare violins’ worth $300K

  • Street: 36 Wilkinson Court
  • City: North Fort Myers
  • State: Florida
  • Country: United States
  • Zip/Postal Code: 33917
  • Listed: 14 Haziran 2024 07:14
  • Expires: 58 days

Description

He allegedly played his victims like a fiddle and stole $300,000 worth of violins before robbing a bank – all to support his gambling habit.

budayatoto.net – https://www.budayatoto.net/gamelist.htmlFederal prosecutors said Mark Meng, 57, posed as a serious collector and targeted businesses all over the U.S. to pull off the scheme to steal five antique instruments.

Among the high-end instruments was a 1823 Lorenzo Ventapane violin valued at $175,000 alone. 

Meng allegedly ‘gained the trust of these stores by representing himself as a collector, and in some cases, he purchased violin bows before asking for violin trial periods,’ according to the complaint obtained by DailyMail.com. 

The FBI was already investigating the Irvine, California, man for the thefts when he allegedly decided to rob a bank on April 2, web page – https://www.mtsn17jkt.sch.id/files/ officials said. 

Prosecutors said Meng robbed a US Bank branch in Irvine on April 2 and approached the teller with a note that read, ‘$18,000. Withdraw. Please. Stay Cool! No harm. Thx.’

Mark Meng, 57, could face a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison if convicted of the wire fraud and robbery charges

Surveillance footage allegedly shows Meng robbing a U.S. Bank branch on Barranca Parkway in Irvine, according to police

Irvine Police released surveillance footage from inside the bank that showed a man in disguise nervously pushing a note to the teller. 

The man in the surveillance video – later identified as Meng – wore a bandana to cover his face, blue medical gloves and a dark T-shirt with ‘USA’ emblem across the chest.

Prosecutors said the teller noticed the robber ‘appeared to be shaking and nervous as he slipped her the note.’ 

When she told him she didn’t have the $18,000 he wanted, Meng allegedly said, ‘Give me whatever you have!’ 

The teller then handed a wad of cash to the robber, who then ran out of the bank and drove off in a white Toyota Sienna minivan.

Investigators who served a search warrant at Meng’s Irvine home said they found various evidence linking him to the robbery, including – http://www.datamine.com/Resources/Industry+Information.html the USA T-shirt.

Prosecutors said Meng got away with a total of $446 during the April 2 robbery.

However, they also claim Meng already knew he was being investigated by the FBI for wire fraud, according to the criminal complaint.

The 57-year-old Irvine man was also allegedly caught running out of the bank and getting into a white mini van, which detectives later connected to Meng

Investigators said between August 2020 through April 2023, Meng masterminded a scheme to steal several high-end violins. 

The alleged con man traveled to Virginia on January 2023 and found a violin collector who owned two rare violins – the 1823 Loranzo Ventapane and a Giulio Degani from 1903, worth $175,000 and $55,000 respectively. 

Meng also said he would buy three bows at $5,000 and needed to take the two violins for a ‘trial’ period.  He negotiated a price of $235,234 and sent a check to the shop dated March 5, 2023.

When the check bounced, Meng allegedly stopped answering the shop owner’s calls.  

Prosecutors allege Mark Meng’s violin scheme ran from August 2020 through April 2023

Meng allegedly touted himself as a collector and told owners of rare violin shops he needed to take the instruments for a trial period to decide if he wanted to make the purchase 

Meng then resold the Degani violin to a dealer in Los Angeles, who paid $16,000, according to the complaint. 

Just like the other scheme, he also allegedly ‘borrowed’ and resold three more violins and bows and never returned them to the collectors. 

He is accused of stealing a Caressa & Bernardel violin, dated 1870 and worth $60,000, and another from 1913 valued at $40,000.

Investigators said Meng used checks that were processed with servers located outside of California.

Agents interviewed Meng’s roommates, who said the 57-year old ‘liked to gamble,’ while his wife spent half of the year in California and the other half in China. 

Agents also interviewed a woman who identified herself as Meng’s girlfriend, who said she had to co-sign to purchase the van because ‘he did not have good credit.’

Meng told detectives that on April 2 – the day of the bank robbery – he went to Starbucks, Harrah’s casino and Costco.

Mark Meng also posed as a businessman and listed himself as the CEO of an Irvine-based company

Irvine Police arrested Meng on April 11.  He could face a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison if convicted of the wire fraud and robbery charges, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Meng not only posed as a legitimate dealer and collector of fine instruments. 

He listed himself as the CEO, secretary and CFO of a corporation called Alton Global Holdings, according to documents obtai

 

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Listing ID: 464666bc3a959f19

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