Several members of the Arlington Elder Abuse Prevention Task Force were instrumental in intervening to stop a terrible scam of a vulnerable, elderly victim. Prosecuting the perpetrator will ensure justice for the victim as well as provide a crucial benefit to society as a whole. Read the story below:
Boston Herald December 3, 2015
A 24-year-old Albanian woman — who falsely claimed to have brain cancer — was held on $100,000 cash bail today for scamming a six-figure sum from an 84-year-old Arlington widower, authorities said.
Anisa Llega, of Arlington, stood expressionless during her arraignment in Cambridge District Court on a charge of larceny over $250 by single scheme.
Prosecutor Raquel Frisardi said Llega “smiled and giggled” during her arrest yesterday and cops found “in her pocketbook … Citizens Bank deposit slips totaling over $65,000.” Llega is alleged to have duped the man, who has spinal stenosis and lost his wife six years ago, out of more than $100,000.
Llega and the alleged victim met at an Arlington restaurant where she waitressed, Frisardi said. But the victim soon began paying thousands to Llega, including for her degree at ITT Tech and a trip to Albania. He eventually placed her on $50,000 payroll to clean his home five days a week, Frisardi said.
Frisardi said Llega told the man she had terminal brain cancer, and needed $30,000 for surgery at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington. The procedures were slated for Nov. 26 through Nov. 28, Llega told the man. But after a friend of the man went to Arlington cops, they learned Llega was in Miami with her fiance and the clinic had no record of Llega.
Llega’s lawyer, Steve Goldwyn, said the man in question was giving his client “gifts” and reached a tipping point when he learned Llega was in Miami with a man.
He said the man may have had “delusions of grandeur … that she could some day be his girlfriend.”
Llega has no record and her bank accounts were frozen, Goldwyn told the court.
In addition to $100,000 cash bail, Llega was ordered to surrender her passport.
“I am proud of the swift and pointed detective work by Arlington police on this case,” Arlington Police Chief Frederick Ryan said in a statement before the arraignment. “This is a particularly sad situation in which the victim has no family and whose kindness and generosity has been thoroughly taken advantage of.”
Ryan said the case is still under investigation and additional charges against Llega are possible.
Laurel J. Sweet for the Boston Herald