A 60-year-old Saddle Brook man accused of pretending to be a U.S. veteran to reap financial assistance was arrested on Tuesday, authorities said.
Following an investigation, Cresskill police arrested Baustista J. Bonet on charges of identity theft, impersonation and theft by deception, Detective Charles Franke said. Bonet was also served a disorderly persons offense.
The Commander fo the Cresskill American Legion Post 21 came to police last month reporting a fraud, Franke said.
During the course on the investigation, police found that Bonet came to the American Legion requesting financial assistance, saying that he was Sgt. Bob Bonet, a retired U.S. Army soldier with more than 20 years of service, police said.
Bonet said he was having issues with a house he purchased in Cresskill, but was staying in a hotel that he couldn't afford to be in even for one more night, Franke said.
The commander gave Bonet money for food and met with Bergen County Division of Veteran Services, who said that Bonet had also gone to their office, according to police.
That's what the Bergen County Division of Veteran Services began looking into Bonet's military status, authorities said.
Saddle Brook and Cresskill police located and arrested Bonet on Tuesday, before he was remanded to the Bergen County Jail, Franke said.
His first appearance in court was scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 14, authorities said.
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