Three Florida women allegedly locked an 88-year-old man in his home while they bamboozled him out of $150,000.The accused mastermind of the plot, Belgica Rivera, was married to the victim, Angel Martinez, WFTV reports.
Martinez suffered from dementia and was unaware his wife had allegedly notarized a document signing over his power of attorney to her name, according to law enforcement officials.
“My papa’s by himself, and she’s very nice,” his stepson, Michael Cruz, told WFTV. “You get to a certain age, and you think she’s a beautiful person.”
That was far from the case, however. With Martinez sequestered at home, police say Rivera enlisted help from pals Dianne Wagner and Diana Romero to take his checkbook for a spin.
From WFTV’s report:
“Investigators said Rivera then spent $90,000 of the victim’s money as a down payment on a house. Even though his name is on the mortgage, Rivera’s name is the only one listed as an owner. Police said Rivera rented the new home to her son and moved Martinez into her home, where he claims he was locked up and beaten.”
The scheme unravelled when Martinez escaped the home and wandered onto a nearby highway. He was picked up by police.
The women are being held on bond in Volusia County while they await trial.