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Men bilk bank customer out of thousands of dollars, but law catches up with them

MASON CITY – Two men are behind bars after police and bank employees thwarted a scam that cost a victim nearly $11,000.

Mason City police tell NIT that on May 18, 2016, a fraud was reported at a local bank. “A customer had been scammed into wiring a total of almost $11,000 to subjects out-of-state who claimed to be IRS agents,” police said. “The scammers allegedly threatened to arrest the victim if money was not immediately wired. Bank employees intervened before the victim could wire additional money and called police.”

Police embarked upon a months-long investigation. Finally, Mason City police officers then applied for arrest warrants for the two suspects: 22-year-old Coty Phillips and 41-year-old Eduardo Cruz.

On December 1, 2016, Coty Phillips was arrested in El Paso, Colorado.

Eduardo Cruz was arrested by Dallas County Texas authorities around January 10, 2017 on the local warrant. Both subjects were then extradited to Mason City to face trial. Each has been charged with once count of felony second-degree theft.

Cruz, Eduardo
Phillips, Coty Lee
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