South Florida

Thousands Stolen From Elderly Grandmother in Fraud Scheme: Doral Police

A South Florida woman is facing charges after police say she schemed an elderly grandmother out of thousands of dollars.

Saskia Linabel Urena, 30, was arrested Thursday on charges including grand theft, organized scheme to defraud and exploitation of the elderly, Doral Police officials said.

Officials said the elderly woman contacted police after she received a call from a man who claimed he was an attorney and told her that her grandson had been arrested and being held in jail following a traffic crash.

The "attorney" told the woman the other driver was injured but was willing to drop the charges for $7,500, and the elderly woman said she would wire the funds but the man insisted the payment be made in cash, police said.

The woman was instructed to send the money to the address of a transportation company with office space inside a hotel in Doral. The woman withdrew the money from her bank and sent it to the address as instructed.

Detectives went to the hotel, took the money and resealed the package, then waited to see if anyone would claim it. The detectives later watched as Urena retrieved the package and drove off, officials said.

Urena, who works for the transportation company at the address, was taken into custody during a traffic stop. She told detectives she had pulled off the scheme several times in the past with her boyfriend who she described as the "mastermind," officials said.

The U.S. Secret Service got involved in the case and later arrested Urena's boyfriend, 40-year-old Hector V. Morel, officials said. Morel faces federal wire fraud charges. Attorney information wasn't available.

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