WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Two Broward County men and a man from Baltimore were arrested Saturday in Palm Beach County after deputies said they took part in a scam that attempted to cheat a 78-year-old New York man out of $80,000.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said deputies foiled the "grandparents scam" when they intercepted a package containing a large sum of money.
Grandparents scams typically involve a con artist calling an older victim, claiming to be a relative in distress and in need of money quickly. Callers will often tell victims their relatives are in jail or have been gravely injured and need money to pay medical bills.
Leevensky Lambert, 22, Egohosasere Auboraye, 24 -- both of Miramar --- and Keon Smith, 24, face charges of burglary, conspiracy to commit grand theft over $20,000, extortion and conspiracy to commit extortion.
According to the arrest report, the New York man received a call from someone claiming to be his grandson Austin on Feb. 5. The imposter told the victim he had been in car crash and needed help and then handed off the phone to a man named Michael Spencer, who claimed to be Austin's attorney. Spencer told the victim that Austin needed $9,800 to be released on bond.
Over the next several days, the victim received more phone calls from attorneys claiming to be acting on Austin's behalf. Each call requested more money to be sent to different addresses in South Florida, including one in Boynton Beach in Palm Beach County.
The deputies tracked the money, which was sent by FedEx, and waited for someone to pick up the package containing $22,000 at the Boynton Beach address. Deputies said Lambert, Auboraye and Smith drove to the home after the package was delivered and Lambert got out and took the package from the screened in porch.
All three were arrested at the scene, deputies said.