MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) – Middletown Police have arrested a woman in connection to a telephone fraud scheme where the person identified themselves as a public defender.
On July 9, a resident called Middletown Police to report a fraud incident. The resident reported they received a call from a man who identified himself as “Public Defender Sandburg.”
The “public defender” told the victim that her nephew had been arrested after a car accident and was being held at the Cheshire Police Department. The resident was allowed to speak with someone who claimed to be her “nephew” but was told the person sounded different because of the accident.
The “nephew” told the victim that they needed to give the “public defender” $9,500 to get bailed out.
The resident was told by the “public defender” that the court would not see her directly, but she could give cash to the bondsman that would come to her residence. The victim was instructed to place the cash in a bubble-protected envelope.
She was also told that her “nephew” needed a new t-shirt because he was injured in the crash and his shirt had blood on it.
The victim withdrew $9,500 from the bank, purchased a bubble-protected envelope, and placed the cash and t-shirt in the envelope as instructed. A short time later, a car arrived at her home and a Hispanic female exited the car, approached the house, and took the envelope.
The victim then contacted family members who confirmed that her nephew was not in custody or in danger, which is when the victim contacted police.
When police arrived at her home, the victim received another call stating that her nephew needed an additional $18,000 to get out of jail. The victim and the “public defender” negotiated the cost to $10,000.
A short time later, a different car pulling into the driveway, and a different Hispanic woman exited the car. Police took the woman into custody and identified her as Emely Guzman-Hernandez. She told police she was doing a favor for her friend who told her to “pick up money from his aunt’s house” in Middletown.
Guzman-Hernandez was arrested and charged with second-degree attempt to commit larceny, and second-degree conspiracy to commit larceny.