Police: Suspect Who Scammed Elderly Nassau County Residents Out of Tens of Thousands of Dollars in Custody


Frederick Espinal of The Bronx, 23, is charged with multiple counts of Grand Larceny, officials say; County Executive Curran refers to suspect as “dirt bag.”

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NCPD reports the arrest of Frederick Espinal of The Bronx, 23, for allegedly running multiple phone scams targeting the elderly.

Photo by: Nassau County Police Department

Mineola, NY - December 20, 2018 - A suspect accused of running multiple phone scams on elderly Nassau County residents that netted him tens of thousands of dollars in ill-gotten gains has been brought to justice, according to the Nassau County Police Department (NCPD). 
At a press conference held in Mineola on Thursday, December 20, it was announced that Frederick Espinal of The Bronx, 23, had been apprehended after having reportedly fleeing out-of-state in an effort to avoid authorities. Nassau County Executive Laura Curran praised both police and the media for helping to spread the word on the suspect, whom she described in colorful terms.
“Excellent news...our wonderful Police Department caught the dirt bag, and he will now be held accountable,” she said. “I'm very grateful to the media for covering this, because the tips came flying in and a lot of people, who would be potentially preyed upon, are calling the police and calling their relatives telling them about a suspicious email or phone call they got and if they should trust it. And the answer, of course, is no.”
Espinal attracted media attention earlier this month when he allegedly called an 81-year-old Oceanside victim and claimed that her son had been involved in an automobile accident and needed funds to pay for bail and medical expenses. After reportedly visiting her home three separate times, officials say Espinal walked away with $45,000 of the victim’s money. The suspect was photographed by the victim's home surveillance video camera, and the footage was curculated among the media by police as a part of a high-profile manhunt.
NCPD Commissioner Patrick Ryder noted that the investigation into Espinal revealed that, in addition to the Oceanside incident, he was also a suspect in several other scams and attempted scams involving elderly victims, all over the age of 70, in Great Neck, Roslyn, and Farmingdale.
“It looks like Christmas has come early...we've used a lot of choice words to refer to this individual, but now we get to call him defendant,” he said. “Our District Attorney's office will take this individual and prosecute him to the fullest extent.”
Commissioner Ryder noted that due to assistance from the media, as well as the doubling of the Department's usual reward for information leading to arrest – from $5,000 to $10,000 – police soon had enough information to track the suspect down and place him under arrest.
“Information led us to Lawrence, Massachusetts, where the individual, was arrested on December 18th,” he said. “After an extensive investigation through Crime Stoppers and our tips, we arrested Frederick Espanol. He is 23 years of age and lives in The Bronx. He had fled to Massachusetts and was hiding out with relatives after he noticed the media attention his crimes in Nassau County had attracted.”
Ryder said that Espanol had waived his extradition rights and was currently being transported back to New York for arraignment on multiple charges of Grand Larceny, scheduled for the morning of Friday, December 21.
Through the course of the police department's investigation, Ryder said, a separate scam ran by a different group of individuals in Lake Success was uncovered, responsible for separating an elderly woman from $12,500 of her hard-earned money.
“We can't thank the public enough. They came forward with the information, they got us to The Bronx, they got us to Massachusetts, and they also came forward with an additional case in Lake Success,” he said. “As you heard from the County Executive, we are now educating the seniors in our community about scams, and they are now calling us and asking us about suspicious phone calls they have received.”
Ryder noted that the Nassau Police worked in partnership with the New York Police Department, Massachusetts Police, and the U.S. Marshals’ office in apprehending Espanol.
At the end of the press conference, Ryder issued a stern warning to anyone who would seek to prey upon the law-abiding seniors of the Nassau County community.
Bad guys beware...if you come to our county, and you try to scam anyone, we will put our full resources behind the investigation and track you down wherever you run to, be it Massachusetts or across the United States,” he said.
A criminal charge is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.