A Leesport real estate agent was arrested for theft by deception and receiving stolen property, according to the Berks County District Attorney office.
Detectives obtained a warrant for the arrest of Peggy Ferko, 51, of Leesport, on Jan. 17. Ferko surrendered to detectives on Jan. 28 and was waiting arraignment.
Berks County District Attorney’s Crime Unit detectives began a financial investigation into reported allegations of theft committed by Ferko in April of 2013. As a result of the investigation, detectives learned that the victim, name withheld, sent Ferko $217,000 via checks and electronic transfers between August 2010 and October 2012. The victim believed that the money was being used to purchase an apartment building, make repairs to the building and later to purchase stock in a pharmaceutical company by Ferko. A review of Ferko’s financial records revealed that the money was being used for Ferko’s personal payments to casinos, loan companies and credit card companies.
The victim knew Ferko through his mother and sister. Ferko assisted the victim with selling his mother and sister’s home when they passed away. After the victim’s mother passed away, Ferko sent the victim a phishing (an attempt to acquire information from an individual by another masquerading as a trustworthy source via electronic communication) type e-mail regarding an investment opportunity.
Magisterial District Judge Ann Young issued a warrant for the arrest of Ferko on the charges of Theft by Deception and Receiving Stolen Property on Jan. 17. Ferko surrendered to Berks County Detectives on Jan. 28 and at that time was awaiting arraignment.