When a 78-year old New York man got a phone call from his “grandson” saying he needed help after getting in a car accident, the man didn’t hesitate.
He complied with several requests to send cash via FedEx, totaling nearly $80,000.
But a call to Nassau County police in New York led to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department being able to intercept one of the packages of cash in Boynton Beach.
There, they arrested three men and charged them with grant theft, conspiracy to commit extortion and burglary, according to arrest reports.
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The men charged were: Keon Smith, 24, of Baltimore, Eghosasere Auboraye, 24, of Miramar and Leevensky Lambert, 22, also of Miramar.
It all started Feb. 5, 2018, when the grandfather received a call from “Austin,” according to the arrest reports.
Austin then handed the phone over to a man who said he was Michael Spencer, and was an attorney, detectives said.
Spencer then directed the man to send $9,800 to an address in Surfside to bail his grandson out of jail, according to the reports.
The man did so, but them got a call the next day saying “one of the passengers in the vehicle [was] pressing charges and they needed more money,” a detective wrote. The man was told to send $18,000 to an address in Miami. He again complied.
The man got another call on Feb. 7, this time from a man who said he was an attorney named Marc Rockwell. The request this time was $30,200. He was told that his grandson would “have a warrant out for his arrest” if he didn’t send the money, according to the reports. The man was told to send this package to an address in Greenacres.
The final call came on Feb. 8, when Roswell called again and asked for $22,000 more. He was told to send that package to Boynton Beach, detectives said.
After the man reported the incident, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office was able to track down the last package. It was rerouted to be delivered between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Saturday. When three men arrived to get the package, deputies were waiting, according to the reports.
The men separately told detectives they didn’t know what was in the package.
According to the reports, Auboraye had $4,000 cash on him.