A Bronx man was sentenced to one to three years in prison Thursday for scamming an elderly Oceanside woman out of $45,000.
Frederik Regalado, 23, was ordered to pay $47,500 in restitution through a civil judgment. He pled guilty to three counts of third-degree grand larceny on May 8 before Judge Robert Bogle.
“This unscrupulous defendant bilked an octogenarian out of $45,000 in one day and deserves every day in prison that he was sentenced to,” Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a news release announcing the sentence. “These so-called granny scammers prey on vulnerable seniors who believe that their family members are in trouble with the law.”
In the first call, Regalado said that the victim’s son was in a car crash and arrested for driving while intoxicated in Manhattan. The caller told the victim she had to send $7,500 to bail her son out of jail and that a courier would go to her house to pick up the money. Regalado then pretended to be a courier, arrived at the home at around 1 p.m. that afternoon and collected the money.
Two hours later, a person called the woman again and said that a judge raised the amount of bail because the person that was in the car that was struck by the victim’s son was pregnant, and the crash caused her to lose her baby. Regalado then returned to her Oceanside home and collected another $7,500.
About two hours later, Regalado called the woman again and said she had to send an additional $30,000 to pay for medical bills that were related to the car crash. He then returned to her home a third time to collect the money.
A few minutes after the third exchange, the victim’s son called his mother, which is when she realized he was not in jail. After each pickup, Regalado delivered the money to an unknown person.
Assistant District Attorneys Michael Davidman and Stephanie Hernan of the County Court Trial Bureau are prosecuting the case. Colleen Baktis, Esq. of the Legal Aid Society represents the defendant.
Singas urged anyone who has been the victim of a financial scam — or knows someone who has — to contact the NCDA Criminal Complaints hotline at (516) 571-7755.