WATCH LIVE: State Attorney talks about cases involving elderly victims
Lisa Miller appeared in bond court Wednesday after officers arrested her Tuesday, accusing her of swindling a 74-year-old victim out of $60,000., according to an arrest warrant.
The 74-year-old victim, Linda Bemis, was using Facebook when she thought she had connected with a handsome military serviceman known as Mr. Bravo. Detectives said the Facebook user was Miller who would later manipulate her into handing over $60,000.
Miller denied the “crazy” accusations and said she too was scammed, authorities said.
According to the arrest warrant, “Bravo kept telling her that he was stuck in Afghanistan…he needed $50,000 to get his luggage trunk through Customs. The victim was convinced by Bravo to sell her share in her home to raise $50,000.”
“Why did she spend my money?” Bemis asked.
Police said $60,000 was sent and ended up in Miller’s account.
“I’m innocent because I’m innocent,” Miller said.
The 74-year-old victim, Linda Bemis, was using Facebook when she thought she had connected with a handsome military serviceman known as Mr. Bravo. Detectives said the Facebook user was Miller who would later manipulate her into handing over $60k.
Investigators said bank records show Miller spent the cash over the course of several months. They also found the internet protocol address for the romance scammer’s Facebook account was from Nigeria. Fraudsters are able to use virtual private network providers to get IP addresses from other countries.
“Be careful. Before you know it, you can become a victim, just like that in this case,” said Sgt. Brian Schnell, of the Sunny Isles Beach Police Department.”
Miller is facing charges of theft from the elderly and organized fraud. She is being held on a $100,000 bond and was ordered by a judge not to have any contact with the victim.
If she posts bond, she will be placed on house arrest.
A news conference is going to be held at the Miami-Dade state attorneys office at 2:30 p.m. with Katherine Fernandez Rundle to discuss a new unit that is being set up to prevent crimes like this from happening.