Financial Planner Accused of Scamming Elderly of Pembroke Pines
To the elderly residents of Century Village in Pembroke Pines, Florida, Ariel Luis Hernandez was a smooth talking, handsome and charming financial planner. However, Century Village residents were shocked to learn that Hernandez had stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars from various residents who had contracted with Hernandez for financial planning services. In fact at the beginning of February, Hernandez was charged with two counts of grand theft from persons 65 years of age or older, and also for misuse of the personal identification information of another. The Broward County Police Department recently discovered that Hernandez had fraudulently forged the signatures of dozens of Century Village residents in order to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars. He stole the funds after gaining access to the investment accounts of Century Village residents who used Hernandez’s services as a financial planner. In fact, upon Hernandez’s arrest, the credit card of one of his elderly Century Village client’s was found in his wallet, and it was soon discovered that the credit card had been used by Hernandez to make multiple high-dollar amount purchases at locations throughout the posh community of nearby Coral Gables, Florida.
The Pembroke Pines Century Village Elderly Investment Scam
The white collar crime that Hernandez committed against the elderly residents of Century Village resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars, which, according to the Broward County Police Captain, was the money that “these people were going to live off of for the rest of their lives.” It is believed that Hernandez scammed up to one hundred different people. However, there were four specific elderly individuals who have been identified as being scammed by Hernandez. In fact, one of the two victims who were named in the charges filed against Hernandez is believed to have had over $200,000 stolen by Hernandez. He committed this theft by forging letters of authorization, which were then used to transfer money from the elderly clients’ private brokers account and into Hernandez’s private bank account. Another charge against Hernandez alleges that he stole $45,000 from a 77-year-old client through the use of 12 wire transfers he made by forging this client’s signature.
In order to steal from his victims, Hernandez would ingratiate himself into their lives while also taking advantage of the loneliness of many of his clients. Hernandez became so emboldened that during the police investigation for one of his clients who reported stolen funds, Hernandez answered a call from the police and falsely claimed to be the client’s nephew. The outrage regarding Hernandez taking advantage of the Century Village elderly community resulted in him getting a higher than normal bail. Hernandez’s bail was set for $300,000 at the courthouse where he was charged, and he was also ordered to not set foot on the Century Village property, nor to advertise his financial services informational luncheons or seminars.
Crimes against the elderly come with enhanced penalties, given the extremely vulnerable position of the victims. When you need a white collar criminal defense attorney in South Florida, contact Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A. for help.