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Three busted after scamming elderly Cayuga County couple out of $24,000

An elderly couple in the Town of Throop, Cayuga County, was scammed out of over $24,000 in a grandparents scheme.

On February 8th the couple was contacted by a person claiming to be their grandson and in need of bail money after being involved in a motor vehicle accident. Unbeknownst to the couple, it was a scam, and they withdrew the requested amount, only to be scammed again two more times.

However, the suspects were not able to get away with their crimes for long. On February 9, 2023, the Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office, the New York State Police, and the Finger Lakes Drug Task Force worked together to apprehend the suspects in East Syracuse. The suspects were charged with felony grand larceny and conspiracy.

The three charged included, Joel Mathilda, of Bronx, New York; Jose Arony Fermin Vasquez, of Newark, New Jersey; and Davide Invidia Arias, of Orlando, Florida.

The investigation revealed that the couriers used in the scheme were Uber drivers who were not involved in the crime. A subsequent search of an Airbnb in Syracuse resulted in the recovery of $20,000, and additional US currency found on the suspects brought the total amount recovered to over $25,000.

This case serves as a reminder to always be vigilant and cautious when receiving unexpected requests for money, especially from people claiming to be family members. The Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office is encouraging anyone with information about this case to contact them immediately.