CENTRAL ISLIP - Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota says one woman accused of gaining the trust of men and then draining their bank accounts is part of a larger group of schemers.
Officials say Lisa Ferkovich, 47, of Bay Shore, got close to an 83-year-old man suffering from dementia. Then, cops say Ferkovich took $500,000 from his bank account and racked up $35,000 in credit card debt.
Prosecutors say Ferkovich scammed as many as four other victims over the past two years. Ferkovich has been charged with grand larceny as a hate crime. She was arrested in her Bay Shore home in November.
Spota says Ferkovich is a part of a group of travelers who disperse throughout the United States and gain the attention of senior citizens and employ a scheme to gain their assets and steal whatever they can from them.
He says the elderly man who thought he was in love with Ferkovich wrote her checks in the amounts of $100,000, $199,000, $65,000, and around $90,000, as well as gave her financial information that she used for credit card purchases.
The Suffolk County DA says Ferkovich is being charged with a hate crime because she targeted a specific group of people, the elderly.
He advises the elderly to be wary of people who are suddenly trying to befriend them and are asking for some type of assistance.
Spota says Ferkovich told one of the individuals she scammed that she was starting a company and asked for a loan of a few thousand dollars, with the promise that she would repay him.
Spota believes that Ferkovich may be part of a ring of thieves based out of Maryland.
Ferkovich was supposed to be arraigned today in Central Islip, but a judge has postponed it until tomorrow.
Anyone who may be a scam victim or has information about a potential victim can call the Suffolk DA’s Office at 631-853-5602.