MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a Bronx man was sentenced to one to three years in prison yesterday for scamming an elderly Oceanside woman out of $45,000 in one day. The defendant was ordered to pay $47,500 in restitution through civil judgment.
Frederik Regalado, 23, pled guilty on May 8 before Judge Robert Bogle to three counts of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree (a D felony).
“This unscrupulous defendant bilked an octogenarian out of $45,000 in one day and deserves every day in prison that he was sentenced to,” DA Singas said. “These so-called granny scammers prey on vulnerable seniors who believe that their family members are in trouble with the law. If you or a family member were the victim of a financial scam, please contact the NCDA Criminal Complaints hotline at 516-571-7755.”
In the first call, a caller stated that the victim’s son was in a car crash and placed under arrest for Driving While Intoxicated in Manhattan. The caller told the victim that she needed to send $7,500 to bail her son out of jail and that a courier would pick up the money from her house. The defendant, who pretended to be a courier, arrived at the victim’s home at approximately 1:00 pm and collected $7,500 in cash.
Two hours later, at approximately 3:00 p.m., a person called the Oceanside woman again and said that a judge raised the amount of bail because the person that was “struck” by the victim’s son was pregnant, and the car crash caused the woman to lose the fetus. The defendant then returned to the victim’s home and collected another $7,500 in cash.
The victim received a third scam phone call that day at approximately 5:00 p.m. and the caller stated that woman had to send an additional $30,000 to pay for medical bills that were related to the car crash. The defendant went back to the victim’s house a third time and collected an additional $30,000 from the victim.
A few minutes after the third exchange, the victim’s son called his mother. It was at this point that the victim realized that her son was not in jail. Throughout the day, a total of $45,000 in cash was stolen from the victim.
After each cash pickup, the defendant dropped off the money to an unknown individual.
If you believe you’ve been the victim of a phone scam, please contact the NCDA’s Tip Line at 516-571-7755.
Assistant District Attorneys Michael Davidman and Stephanie Hernan of DA Singas’ County Court Trial Bureau are prosecuting this case. Michael Dergarabedian, Esq. of the Legal Aid Society represents the defendant.
Tips to avoid becoming the victim of a Grandparent Scam or Phone Scam:
- You should be wary anytime someone calls claiming your grandchild has been arrested or was in a car accident and asks you to wire them money.
- Ask questions that are difficult to answer, like what is the name of a person’s pet or what is their mother’s date of birth.
- Immediately call your grandchild and other family members to verify whether there is a true emergency before you wire any money.
- If you do receive a call, take the caller’s return phone number and the phone number on the caller ID.
- Avoid putting personal information, like vacation or other travel plans, on social media sites.
- Grandparent Scam calls often come during school breaks and during the summer, times when a grandparent would believe a grandchild is traveling
- If you’ve been scammed, contact the money transfer service immediately to report the scam. The money can be retrieved if it has not been picked up yet.