When an elderly and wealthy Bal Harbour widow lost her eyesight, caretaker Eduardo Ravelo began drugging her while raiding the woman’s credit and bank account.
Over three years, Eduardo Ravelo used his ill-gotten money to indulge in a parody of Miami excesses: dozens of exotic-car rentals and the purchases of luxury watches, paint-ball equipment, electronics, iTunes music, furniture and expensive eyeglasses.
Oh, and tasseled nipple pasties at a swank Bal Harbour lingerie store.
The high life will cost Ravelo dearly. A judge this week sentenced Ravelo to 17 years in state prison. A jury in May convicted him of money laundering, theft from the elderly and the fraudulent use of identification.
Ravelo, 36, was caught thanks to modern medicine – his victim, Irene Boyansky, discovered the scam after her vision was restored following surgery at Miami’s Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.
But justice was bittersweet for Boyansky’s family. At 88, she died of natural causes before the trial – and the final years of her life were marked by stupor induced by sleeping pills mixed into her orange juice.
“He not only stole her money but stole her time away from her family,” said Miami-Dade prosecutor Kathryn Olson, who tried the case with Terry Livanos.
Prosecutors will go to court on Friday to ask that Ravelo be ordered to pay $500,000 in restitution.
He had worked for Boyansky for a decade. When she lost her eyesight, prosecutors said, he began writing himself checks from her bank account, then put himself on her American Express account. At one point, Ravelo — in a comically bad old-lady voice — even impersonated Boyansky on a phone call to American Express.
Between 2011 and 2013, the totals were staggering, according to an analysis by financial investigator Ed Gutman.
He spent over $90,000 renting luxury cars that included Lamborghinis, Porsches, BMWs, Audis and Land Rovers. Another $43,000 was spent at luxury jewelry stores such as Mayor’s and Omega.
Ravelo also dropped $1,500 at Agent Provocateur, an upscale lingerie store at the high-end Bal Harbour Shops. The purchase included the nipple pasties, which can run between $135 and $270 and “add burlesque wonder to any seduction,” according to the store’s website.
When he was eventually confronted by Bal Harbour police, Ravelo admitted to the purchases, but insisting he did them only because he was underpaid.