Three charged with defrauding elderly through scam

September 14, 2011 8:51:14 PM PDT
A family is being accused of preying on elderly, Spanish-speaking immigrants, defrauding them out of their homes and life savings.

The family is being accused of bilking millions from unsuspecting immigrants. Two people are in custody and ta third is still at large.

District Attorney George Gascon says the victims trusted the family and took them at their word when they offered to help the immigrants make money.

Edwin Parade, Carlos Parada and Karla Parada are realtor that the DA is accusing of targeting vulnerable, Spanish-speaking elderly individuals.

"We have 31 victims," Gascon said. "We have $2.2 million that have been stolen from these 31 victims."

Carlos Parada was recently arrested. Karla Parada, 26, is currently on the run.

"We're looking for her," Gascon said. "She is very much a part of the scheme."

Authorities say Carlos Parada posed as a pastor and stole the home of a 71-year-old woman who lived on a street in the Ingleside District of San Francisco.

"This individual pastor/real estate agent, through a series of transactions, re-titled the home, refinanced the home and took $100,000 away from the woman," said Gascon.

Police found out about the latest case when they were investigating charges against Edwin Parada. Edwin was arrested three years ago and was accused of defrauding the rest of the 30 victims and cheating them out of millions of dollars.

Prosecutors say he had a pretty good ruse.

"Edin Parada is alleged to have a radio station," said assistant district attorney Sandip Patel. "He was a Spanish-speaking pastor on the radio station."

"Financial exploitation, targeting elders, is absolutely exploding in this country," said Jenefer Duane with the Elder Financial Protection Network. "There are estimates out there that $2.9 billion lost to financial predators."

Duane says prevention is the best prevention tool out there.

"Prevention is best accomplished by awareness," Duane said. "By knowing what's going on out there, the different kinds of scams and frauds, and also realizing that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

Duane says the reason seniors become victims is because they have life-long savings. Seniors are the ones with money, and they're the biggest targets of all.

All three Parada family members are charged with grand theft, money laundering and elderly abuse.

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