A nurse practitioner in South Florida has been arrested as part of a scam that cons senior citizens into wiring or mailing large amounts of money.
Paulette Padilla, 31, who specializes in Botox injections at the Nu You Wellness Center in Coral Gables, was arrested earlier this week on charges of organized scheme to defraud and drug possession.
According to investigators, an 86-year-old Chicago woman wired $20,000 after a caller frantically told her that a family member had been involved in a traffic accident. Her family later reported the incident to Bank of America, which investigated the case.
An arrest report said the money was wired to Padilla’s bank account. A bank investigator called Padilla, who described the woman as a friend who sent the money as “payment for a Super Bowl party that Padilla was organizing."
Investigators traced Padilla sending thousands of dollars to her mother and an associate. She also withdrew money from an ATM, the report said.
On Padilla’s phone, investigators found evidence that a woman from New York sent $22,000 in the mail to the ring. The victim was told that a “family member had been involved in an accident,” police said.
Padilla's parents came forward to aid in obtaining her bond. In court, her attorney said: “Ms. Padilla is a registered nurse and nurse practitioner. Both the premium and the collateral are provided by Ms. Padilla’s parents."
A bank investigator told police that Padilla said the money was to fund a Super Bowl party when the big game was in South Florida last year.
The warning to anyone, don’t wire or send funds to someone you don’t know.
NBC 6 left a message for one of the victims, but have not heard back from her. The other woman could not be reached. Padilla is presumed innocent.