Man Posing as Soldier Accused of Fraud

A civilian may have been trying to cash in on patriotism by masquerading as a soldier while trying to pass two bad checks for tens of thousands of dollars. 

West Hartford police arrested 18-year-old Orlando Ramos-Cabrera Wednesday afternoon when he tried to cash a bad $40,000 check at the TD Banknorth branch on South Main Street, police said.

Dressed in full military garb that he bought online, Ramos-Cabrera posed as a sergeant in the Army and claimed to have just returned from a year in Afghanistan, investigators said.  But, police called to the scene - some of whom had spent time in the service themselves - soon realized he was not telling the truth.

Earlier in the day, police said, Ramos-Cabrera bought a brand new car at a Gengras dealership in East Hartford using a bad check for more than $20,000. That's the same car he drove to the bank in West Hartford, police said.

Ramos-Cabrera appeared before a judge Thursday afternoon in Hartford to face charges of larceny and illegal use of uniform.  Bond was set at $7,500 for the Hartford teen. He has no criminal history. Ramos-Cabrera has not been charged in connection with the car theft. 

Investigators said Ramos-Cabrera did have an account at TD Banknorth but there was little money in it. They believe a teller at a branch in Wethersfield drew up the cashier's checks without checking his balance because he was in uniform. 

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