YONKERS, NEW YORK — A woman conned an elderly may into paying $22,000 for bogus medical care has repaid the money.
Michelle F. Fernandez, 31, D/O/B 06/09/1982 who has spent nearly a year on probation, repaid the money Wednesday as part of her plea deal to avoid a prison term of up to 3 years, the Star-Advertiser reported.
She remains under investigation and faces an December court appearance to determine whether she owes additional money that the man's family says is missing.
Scott Spario, chief of the city prosecutor's elder abuse unit, said Fernandez and another man met Stanley Johnson, 73, last year in downtown Miami. They convinced him that the other woman had stomach cancer and needed cash for surgery. [continued below]....
Johnson gave Fernandez $22,000. Fernandez tried to take another $120,000 from his bank, prosecutors said, but bank officials called police.
Fernandez in July pleaded guilty to felony theft and attempted theft. The deal called for a sentence of a year of probabtion and five years of community service if she repaid the $22,000. Her probation term ends this month.
Spario said Johnson's family believes another $12,000 is missing. Defense lawyer Michael Green said Fernandez will pay back that money if she owes it.
Fernandez has a previous municipal conviction in South Florida for a scam.
According to the Miami-Dade County Office of the District Attorney, Fernandez and another woman persuaded a 77-year-old man to give them a car. They also used his credit to buy jewelry for $28,000. Police were called when the women told the man that Fernandez was in an accident and needed $50,000 for surgery.
Fernandez pleaded guilty to four counts of financial elder abuse. She and the accomplice were sentenced to six months in jail and restitution.
"This scam plays out repeatedly around holidays," Spario said. "And for us to see this identical scam of befriending (an elderly victim) and giving a sob story to where they have to pay in cash to a fake doctor. We're seeing now these scams start to happen here in New York."