A local man has been charged after he allegedly nabbed tens of thousands of dollars from an 87-year-old retired social worker he had befriended and drove on errands.
The Kings County District Attorney’s office reports that 41-year-old Ariel Lemos Hernandez of Ocean Avenue stole $42,500 from the woman — during which time she also gave him money. Hernandez first met the victim in 2012 when he was employed as a car service driver, and the DA’s office says she frequently wrote him checks for car service trips and for what she believed were emergency car repairs, a grand total of $59,000.
Then from November 2013 through April 2014, Hernandez is accused of stealing $42,500 from the victim by writing 17 checks against her account payable to himself for $2,500 each.
The DA’s office says that a review of Hernandez’s bank accounts shows the checks going into his account, and about $42,000 cash being removed from the account via ATM withdrawals. Additionally, he seems to have had a good meal on her at some point — about $400 was a debit charge at a restaurant.
“This defendant allegedly ran a scam and preyed on a vulnerable woman who trusted him,” District Attorney Kenneth Thompson said. “We will not tolerate such shameful acts of elder fraud anywhere in Brooklyn.”
Hernandez is awaiting arraignment in Brooklyn Criminal Court on a criminal complaint charging him with one count of third-degree grand larceny and 17 counts of second-degree possession of a forged instrument. He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.