Woman Arrested For Allegedly Exploiting Elderly St. Croix Man of Over $70,000 Appears in Court
ST. CROIX — A woman accused of allegedly exploiting an elderly St. Croix man faced a USVI court on Monday.
Lissette Algarin-Felix, age 52, appeared before the V.I. Superior Court on St. Croix to face criminal charges believed to have been committed between 2018 and 2019. Algarin-Felix is charged with obtaining money by false pretenses, embezzlement, identity theft, aggravated identity theft, forgery, and counterfeiting, filing or recording forged instruments, conspiracy, grand larceny, acting in assumed character, intentional access, alteration, damage or destruction, and financial exploitation of an elder or dependent adult.
She was apprehended on a warrant signed by Magistrate Judge Ernest Morris, Jr. on March 10, 2022. Algarin-Felix had been eluding the law since her brother Ricardo Algarin was arrested in March, according to the V.I. D.O.J., which said both are co-defendants who allegedly defrauded the elderly man of over $70,000.
According to an affidavit in support of the arrest warrant, investigations revealed that Lissette, along with her brother, Ricardo, made unauthorized transfers from several of the victim’s bank accounts and used personal identification information to obtain money and other personal property. Another man, Ricardo Felix was authorized by the victim to perform many tasks including handling the elderly man’s personal affairs.
Felix notified a family member that he had stopped receiving any of the man’s mail, including his property tax bills at his mailing address at the Kingshill Post Office on St. Croix. After an investigation, it was revealed that a change of address form was completed by someone who forged the man’s signature and as a result, the mail had been forwarded to Fort Lauderdale, Florida at the registered address of Lissette Algarin-Felix and her husband — who is the younger brother of the caretaker, Ricardo Felix.
It was also discovered that a deed of gift was on file at the Recorder of Deeds Office naming Lissette Algarin-Felix as a granddaughter and granting the sole ownership of the victim’s home once his death certificate was filed. However, the victim did secure a will before his passing. The will, which was signed and notarized, did not list Lissette Algarin-Felix as a beneficiary. The will listed Ricardo Felix, his caretaker as the recipient of the property and a percentage of funds in his bank account. He listed two others as recipients for the remainder of the funds in the bank account.
Investigations revealed that between February of 2019 to May of that same year, the victim’s bank account was wiped of at least $60,000. The email address and phone number associated with the victim’s bank account were confirmed as Lissette Algarin-Felix. The money was then transferred from Algarin-Felix’s account to her brother’s account, Ricardo Algarin. The victim suffered from many ailments and eventually passed away on November 6, 2019.
At Monday’s advisement hearing, Felix was allowed to post $1,000 of the $35,000 bail amount to secure her release. A judge ruled that she would need to obtain an extradition waiver before being allowed her to return to Florida. Algrain-Felix was also ordered to have no contact with the complainant or witnesses, and her pre-trial hearing has been scheduled for Nov. 18.
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