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Couple charged with forging checks in name of deceased family member

Published June 21. 2019 11:42AM

A Cresco couple has been charged with forging checks in the name of a deceased family member.

According to the affidavit of probable cause filed by Detective Kevin Buck of the Palmerton Borough Police Department:

On the morning of Sept. 7, 2016, Buck was notified that on July 22 and July 29 of that year, the West End Fire Company No. 2 of Palmerton had received personal checks drawn on a checking account from Wachovia Bank as a form of payment for bingo supplies and packages.

The account was in the names of James and Adeline Mirabella.

The checks have been assigned check numbers in the amount of $150, and another in the amount of $180 signed with the name Adeline Mirabella.

Both checks were returned to the fire company, having been listed as “Unable to locate account.”

On Aug. 29, two separate certified letters were returned to the fire company having been marked “deceased.”

On Sept. 7 of that year, Buck went to Wells Fargo Bank, which bought out Wachovia Bank in 2008.

While there, Buck learned that Adeline has been deceased since July 2008, and her husband Donald since 2013, and that the funeral home that handled the burial was Costello-Runyon.

Buck found there was no attorney assigned to the estate, but the other name on the checking account, James Mirabella, was Adeline’s son. James Mirabella, 56, was married to a woman identified as Deborah Mirabella, 53.

Buck then used Deborah Mirabella in a photo lineup, and both witnesses positively identified Deborah as the woman who had presented the personal check as a form of payment both times for the bingo merchandise, and then returned to her seat and provided some of the supplies to a man also identified through a photo lineup as James Mirabella.

Buck tried contacting the Mirabellas via phone, and by contacting numerous police departments to go to the residence and make contact, but no contact has been made.

Deborah Mirabella faces charges on six counts of criminal conspiracy; and two counts each of forgery, theft by deception, receiving stolen property, and bad checks.

James Mirabella faces charges on eight counts of criminal conspiracy; and two counts of receiving stolen property.

Both are currently free in lieu of $1,000 unsecured bail, and are scheduled to have preliminary hearings June 26 before District Judge William Kissner of Palmerton.

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