A Johnston County man is accused of defrauding a local rest home, restaurant, and body shop in a bogus magazine ad sales scam. Authorities want to know if more businesses have been victimized in the scam.
The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office and Selma Police have been investigating incidents dating back to July 18th reportedly involving the same suspect, Marvin Caesar Romero, 60, of the 5900 block of Hinnant-Edgerton Road, Selma.
Romero was arrested Wednesday after he went to a Selma restaurant claiming he was selling ads for ‘Fire & Rescue News’. Romero reportedly told the restaurant owner he was selling the ads to benefit the Selma Fire Department and attempted to obtain $45.
The owner became suspicious and called Selma Police who determined the Selma Fire Department was not participating in any fundraiser and Romero was not representing the department. Romero was also unable to provide a business license or more information about his business he claimed was based in Smithfield.
Romero is also accused of swindling $150 from another business and attempting to take money from at least two others in the Benson and Four Oaks areas.
Anyone who may have been approached by Romero attempting to sell a magazine advertisement, or soliciting funds on behalf of local fire or EMS, is asked to contact their nearest law enforcement agency.
Romero is currently facing four felonies stemming from the four businesses identified so far. At last check, Romero was in the Johnston County Jail under a $100,000 bond.