TUCSON – A grand jury indicted a man for stealing investment funds, pretending to be a doctor and trying to buy a vehicle with a false identity, according to court records.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s office arrested Joshua Nathaniel Pena-Abeyta last week. He was arraigned Thursday afternoon.
The News 4 Tucson Investigators reported on Pena-Abeyta last week after multiple people said they bought beef from him, but he never delivered.
Virgil Adams, Dee Silva, Boyd Sturges, Kathy Baum and Isabel Flores-Gulino all thought they were buying a freezer full of meat.
“Very disappointed,” Flores-Gulino said, “because we brought him into our home. We treated him like family.”
They all said Pena-Abeyta was nice and seemed trustworthy.
“You feel naïve,” Adams said. “You feel gullible. You feel cheated. You feel a little upset.”
Pena-Abeyta is being held in the Pima County jail on a $15,000 bond.
“Knowing where he’s at, I’m fine,” Baum said, “and I hope he gets what’s coming to him.”
In 2012 Pena-Abeyta took $1,515 from 4 people saying he was going to invest the money in stocks, but he never intended on investing the money, according to the indictment.
He claimed to be Dr. Anthony Pena and gained access to the Green Valley V.A. clinic in 2014, according to court records.
He also tried to buy a car from a dealership as Dr. Anthony Pena in 2014, according to court records.
Baum hopes local authorities also hold Pena-Abeyta accountable for the beef business.
“Sheriff’s department needs to get on that,” she said. “They need to get after him on this.”
Pena-Abeyta’s next court date is scheduled for January 19.