Couple accused of defrauding elderly woman out of $7,500, Doral police say

Police: Man claimed to be attorney seeking cash to drop charges against grandson

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor

Saskia Urena, 30, and her boyfriend, Hector Morel, 40, are facing charges in connection with a scheme that targeted an elderly woman, authorities said.

DORAL, Fla. - A South Florida couple was arrested Thursday for defrauding an elderly woman out of $7,500, Doral police confirmed Friday.

According to a news release from the police department, the victim contacted police and said a man who identified himself as an attorney had called her and said her grandson had been arrested after a traffic crash.

Police said the caller claimed the driver of the other vehicle had sustained injuries but was willing to drop the charges in exchange for $7,500.

The victim agreed to wire the funds, but the caller insisted that it be a cash payment sent to a transportation company that has an office space inside a hotel in Doral, authorities said.

Police said the victim withdrew the cash and mailed the money to the hotel.

Detectives were able to intercept the package at the hotel after speaking with security personnel and impounded the cash before resealing the package.

Police said detectives then waited to see if anyone would claim the package.

Saskia Urena, 30, eventually picked up the package and detectives followed her after she drove away, police said.

According to the news release, Urena was pulled over by detectives and confessed to taking part in the scheme several times with her boyfriend, whom she described as the mastermind.

Police said Urena is employed by the transportation company that has the office space inside the hotel.

Because the incident was a financial crime involving telecommunications, Doral police contacted the U.S. Secret Service, authorities said.

Police said Urena's boyfriend, Hector Morel, 40, was arrested after arriving at the hotel to pick up his girlfriend.

The Secret Service has charged him with wire fraud.

Urena is facing charges of grand theft, organized fraud and exploitation of the elderly under Florida state statutes, authorities said.

She is being held at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.
 

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