Alleged Scammer Targets Local Businesses in Cranberry TownshipSource: Cranberry Township

Cranberry Township finds itself at the center of an unfolding saga as a man, identified as Ryan Black, faces allegations of defrauding several local businesses, leaving community members and business owners dismayed. Among the establishments allegedly targeted was the well-known Monte Cello’s along Route 19.

Local Businesses Victimized by Deceptive Scheme

Joe Savage, the owner of Monte Cello’s, expressed his frustration at the situation, stating, “It’s terrible people want to rip off businesses, especially working so hard.” The allegations against Ryan Black have ignited concerns about the security and trustworthiness of local establishments, as residents and business owners grapple with the impact of these incidents.

Alleged Scammer Targets Local Businesses in Cranberry Township
Source: WPXI

The Modus Operandi: Forged Tickets and Illicit Gains

The alleged crimes came to light when police officers visited the Red Roof Inn in Cranberry Township in pursuit of an arrest warrant for one of Black’s acquaintances. During their search of the hotel room, they uncovered equipment believed to have been used by Black to alter or counterfeit cash tickets from electronic game machines. Consequently, Black was taken into custody.

According to authorities, Black employed two primary tactics in his alleged scam. In the first, he purportedly printed counterfeit winning tickets, which he then presented at local businesses for redemption. In the second method, he allegedly tampered with legitimate tickets, manipulating the dollar amount to his advantage. In the case of Monte Cello’s, the restaurant owner recounted an incident from the previous month where a forged ticket appeared deceptively legitimate.

Savage, the owner of Monte Cello’s, provided insight into the scheme, saying, “They changed the time stamp to 6:30, but the ticket was for $934 more than it should have been, so it should have been a dollar.” This alteration of winning tickets blurred the line between genuine and counterfeit claims, causing financial losses to the businesses involved.

Community Reaction and Ongoing Legal Implications

The alleged crimes have triggered a range of responses from the Cranberry Township community. Many residents expressed relief that the accused individual was apprehended, as the fraudulent activities had affected small businesses—a reality they found disheartening.

Jim Plummer, a local resident, emphasized the impact of such crimes on small businesses, saying, “I’m glad they caught him; you hate hearing stuff like that for small businesses like that.” Another community member, Shawn Hilliard, acknowledged the challenging nature of these situations, especially for family-owned restaurants, describing the news as “very bad” and “shocking.”

Alleged Scammer Targets Local Businesses in Cranberry Township
Source: Impulse Creative

As the legal process unfolds, Ryan Black remains incarcerated in the Butler County Jail, with an inability to post bond. It is revealed that he faces multiple arrest warrants in various local counties for other alleged crimes, suggesting a broader legal entanglement beyond the specific accusations related to Cranberry Township. The Cranberry Township community and local businesses are left to grapple with the aftermath of these incidents, hoping for justice to prevail while also underscoring the importance of vigilance and security measures to protect the integrity of their establishments.

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