A New Jersey couple has been charged with stealing more than $11,000 from an 86-year-old driver they flagged down in Forest Hills and told her her car was dangerously in need of repair, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said last week.
Billy Thompson, 47, of Newark, N.J., was charged Friday with pretending to make thousands of dollars in repairs on the victim’s car that had little or no resale value, the DA said. He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted on charges of grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, according to Brown.
Thompson’s wife, Nina Jace, 45, also was charged with participating in the scam, the DA said. Jace has been charged with third-degree larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, according to the DA.
“The defendant is accused of stealing virtually his victim’s life savings,” Brown said. “%u2026 This is a classic con game.”
Thompson’s attorney, Leonard Ressler, did not return a phone call for comment.
The elderly victim was driving her 1976 Dodge Aspen by herself in Forest Hills around 1 p.m. Sept. 23, 2009, when Thompson and Jace allegedly stopped her and said her car needed to be repaired immediately, the DA said. Thompson then reportedly said he could fix her car while she waited, according to Brown.
Upon finishing the false repairs, Thompson allegedly demanded more than $13,000 for his work, which he then reduced to $11,200, the DA said. Thompson, Jace and the victim drove to her apartment in order for the elderly woman to retrieve her banking information, the DA said. The three then went to the victim’s bank, where she gave Jace a check for $11,200, according to Brown.
The DA said the woman’s car had been serviced at Bayside Chrysler not long before the incident and the following month employees at Bayside Chrysler re-examined the vehicle and found no additional work or repair had been performed on the vehicle since its last service.
Brown urged any senior citizens who may have fallen victim to this type of scam to call his Economic Crime Bureau at 718-286-6673.
Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at agustafson
©2010 Community News Group
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