A 25-year-old Elmhurst man faces up to seven years in prison for stealing more than $40,000 from an 86-year-old man after claiming to be his grandson, according to the Queens District Attorney.
Andrew Sanders was arrested Friday after tricking the victim to believe he was his grandson and that he needed bail money and other funds after being arrested for marijuana possession in the Dominican Republic.
“This case sadly represents an all too common scenario in which an alleged con artist will unscrupulously take advantage of an older person by playing on their love and concern for younger family members,” District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement.
Sanders was arraigned April 27, on a three-count complaint charging him with third-degree grand larceny, third-degree criminal possession of stolen property and third-degree attempted grand larceny. Sanders is being held on $10,000 bail and is due in court May 11.
According to the District Attorney, the victim received a phone call on Jan. 2 from Sanders who claimed to be the 86-year old’s grandson Nathaniel.
Sanders, impersonating Nathaniel, then told the senior that he got caught with one and a half pounds of marijuana in the Dominican Republic and needed money for bail.
Allegedly, Sanders called again claiming to be a man named “Sergeant Williams” and then conned the victim to send $9,800 cash so Nathaniel could get out of jail. He instructed the senior to send the cash in magazines to Joshua Garcia at an address in Jamaica, Queens. The victim sent the money on Jan. 3.
The scam continued. The victim was asked by Sanders’ alias “Sergeant Williams” to send an additional $22,000 for “Nathaniel’s time in jail.” The victim sent $19,000 cash in magazines on Jan. 4 to Andrew Sanders’ 90-48 Corona Avenue apartment.
Furthermore, the district attorney’s office alleged that Sanders concocted another conversation between “Sergeant Williams” and the victim, where he claimed that “Nathaniel” was being held in U.S. Customs in Florida and the victim would need to send $23,000.
However, the 86-year old told “Sergeant Williams” that he could not afford that and instead sent $12,600 in cash. On Jan. 6, “Sergeant Williams” milked him for more money as he convinced him to send $10,000 to Sanders.
That same day the victim spoke to his real grandson Nathaniel who said he had not been arrested nor had asked for money.