Florida couple scam 82-year-old veteran and empty his bank account leaving him on the brink of suicide
A couple from Florida was arrested last week after they scammed an 82-year-old veteran out of his life savings to fuel their drug habits. Authorities said that the incident came to light after the elderly man called a crisis line and told them he wanted to kill himself over his empty bank account.
DeLand police said that the couple, identified as 31-year-old Jessica Henry and her 28-year-old boyfriend Gregory Dushan, swindled over $50,000 from the US Coast Guard veteran. They also coerced him to give them his property, according to reports. Authorities said that the couple allegedly spent over $500 of the money daily for drugs.
The victim, who has not been identified, reportedly called the Veterans Crisis Center and told the agency that his bank account had a negative balance and that he felt the only solution he had was to end his life. The center alerted the incident to the police immediately.
The veteran told responding officers that he first met Henry nearly three years ago and started giving her money after she claimed that she wasn't able to feed her children and required transportation to take them to school, according to a police press release.
The woman contacted the victim again nearly six months ago and claimed that she needed $350 a day to pay for urine tests as part of her probation for a recent arrest, WKMG-TV reported.
According to an arrest report, the woman's boyfriend Dushan pretended to be Henry's probation officer and called the victim daily to demand between $150 and $1,000. He also threatened to seize the veteran's car and throw him in jail if he did not give him the money. Reports state that the victim eventually gave his car to Dushan.
Authorities have said that they have recovered the victim's car since the incident was reported. A spokesperson for DeLand Police said that the department is looking for measures to assist the 82-year-old man. The veteran has not been able to pay his rent because of the incident.
Police said that the couple was charged with exploiting an elderly person between amounts of $20,000 and $100,000. Dushan was charged separately for impersonating a probation officer. Authorities added that the couple could face additional charges.