A former financial planner is under arrest, accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from his elderly clients at Century Village in Pembroke Pines.
According to the arrest warrant, Ariel Hernandez acted as a financial advisor and was given access to his victims’ accounts.
The warrant stated that Hernandez made contact with his first victim on Sept. 11, 2012.
It wasn’t until November 2013 that the first victim realized funds were being taken out of her account.
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The warrant stated the woman had called James Tarantino to assist her in setting up a trust fund for her children. Tarantino began reviewing the woman’s accounts. He discovered that her funds were being withdrawn, and upon further inquiry, Tarantino said he linked the wire transfers to Hernandez’s bank account.
In an interview with police, the woman said she never authorized the wire transfers by Hernandez. She also told authorities that her signature was forged.
Her losses reportedly totaled $152,425.50.
Hernandez, according to the warrant, made contact with his second victim on April 19, 2013.
The man’s story is nearly identical to the first victim’s. Even though Hernandez was listed as his financial advisor, the man said he never authorized any wire transfers and his signature was forged on those transfers.
After 12 total withdrawals, the man was reportedly scammed out of $45,500 – bringing the grand total between the two victims’ to $197,925.50.
Hernandez is being charged with two counts of criminal use of personal identification and two counts of theft from persons 65 years of age or older.
Pembroke Pines police said they plan to charge Hernandez in connection with two other cases.
Capt. Al Xiques said Hernandez wasn’t in any financial straits.
“This was greed,” he said.