Crime & Safety

Delray Beach man arrested in connection to military veteran scam

A special agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement uncovered a 2021 scam earlier this year that targeted military veterans and their families.

During a Feb. 28 interview, the suspect being questioned identified Johnathan Toriana Coleman, Jr. as a man who used his job at a Navy Federal Credit Union branch in the Pensacola-area to commit fraud, according to an arrest warrant.

The suspect revealed that Coleman would take money from an NFCU member’s account and place it in an NFCU account that the suspect had provided to Coleman. As per the suspect’s statement, Coleman charged the suspect a $500 fee for each transaction.

Further investigation revealed that Coleman, 28, of Delray Beach, had earned around $30,000 in illegal fees, compromised 38 accounts, and caused nearly $347,500 in fraud and about $206,450 in losses, according to an arrest warrant.

The suspect’s claims were proven true, and the arrest warrant was issued by an Escambia County judge on March 29. Coleman had graduated with a 3.5 GPA from the University of West Florida in Pensacola, where he played football as a linebacker. He had been working for the credit union since 2018.

Coleman worked for the Navy Federal Credit Union from July 2, 2021, to Aug. 6, 2021, according to records. The fraud was initially detected by Chris McBrayer, an NFCU investigator, who had already confronted Coleman on Aug. 18, 2021. It was found that the fraud involved transfers from CashApp and AppleCash.

During McBrayer’s recorded interview, Coleman initially claimed the money was from friends to help him with food and miscellaneous things. Later he admitted to asking people for money for travel and fun stuff, as per Infinger’s recorded interview.

The FDLE’s Miami center and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office arrested Coleman on Tuesday. He was booked around 11:10 a.m. and released on a $115,000 surety bond at about 10:35 p.m., according to correction records. This fraudulent scam involving military veterans and their families is an ongoing investigation and more information is yet to come.

Lowell Bowen

From the time he was 8 years old Lowell knew he wanted to be on TV. Well, as people say one thing leads to another, that's how Lowell started his career in the news industry. Lowell has been part of The South Florida Daily since the very beginning.

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