‘Dirtbag’ scammer arrested for ‘preying on the elderly’ on LI: officials

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LONG ISLAND, N.Y. — A man described as a “dirtbag” by officials after allegedly scamming seniors on Long Island out of tens of thousands of dollars has been arrested in Massachusetts.

Frederick Espinal was arrested on Dec. 18, 2018, for allegedly stealing tens of thousands of dollars from seniors on Long Island. (Nassau County police)

Nassau County officials on Thursday announced the arrest of Frederick Espinal, a 23-year-old from the Williamsbridge section of the Bronx.

“It looks like Christmas has come early,” police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said at a news conference.

After police asked for the public’s help in early December to catch the person who was “preying on the elderly,” and scamming them out of tens of thousands of dollars, tip lines were flooded with information, leading investigators to locate a sixth victim in Nassau County’s Lake Success area, and later the suspect’s vehicle in the Bronx, Ryder said.

Espinal was finally tracked down in Lawrence, Mass. and arrested on Tuesday.

On Thursday, he was being extradited to New York City, where he is expected to be arraigned Friday, Ryder said.

The suspect was described as a “dirtbag” by Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, who thanked tipsters for not only leading police to Espinal, but encouraging elderly people to reach out to authorities and relatives about other possible scams.

In addition to the Lake Success scam, in which a woman lost $12,500, police previously announced five separate incidents. All of the victims were over 70 years old.

  • An Oceanside woman was scammed out of $45,000
  • A Great Neck resident was scammed out of about $5,900
  • A Roslyn resident was scammed out of about $30,000
  • The man attempted to scam a Farmingdale resident out of $18,000
  • Another resident in Oceanside was scammed out of about $8,430

Espinal’s records include one prior for possessing a stolen credit card in Pennsylvania in 2014, according to Ryder.

Officials announce the arrest:

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