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Ocean County prosecutors looking for Florida man in senior scam
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Ocean County prosecutors looking for Florida man in senior scam


Authorities are looking for a Florida man accused of scamming an elderly man out of $10,000, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office said Tuesday.

Juan C. Piedrahita, 49, of Hollywood, posed as an attorney and contacted an elderly victim over the phone advising him that his nephew had been in a motor vehicle accident, Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer said in a news release.

Piedrahita convinced the victim his nephew was under arrest and that $10,000 cash bail was needed to secure his release, Billhimer said. The victim obtained the cash and met Piedrahita, now posing as a courier, in a CVS parking lot in Barnegat Township.

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After leaving the parking lot, the victim was contacted once again and instructed to provide an additional $10,000 as payment to the alleged victim of the purported motor vehicle accident, Billhimer said. It was only when the victim was questioned by bank staff that he contacted his nephew and confirmed he was not in actual trouble.

Detectives obtained surveillance footage of the area surrounding the CVS lot, which captured the vehicle Piedrahita had rented at Newark Liberty International Airport, and were thereafter able to confirm Piedrahita’s identity based on that footage, Billhimer said.

Piedrahita’s location is unknown. A warrant for his arrest has been issued, charging him with theft by deception.

Anyone with information about Piedrahita can call Barnegat Detective James Purcell at 609-698-5000, ext. 262.

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