A woman on the run for nearly six months has been arrested in connection with a lottery scam that targeted an 83-year-old woman outside a Pembroke Pines supermarket.
Ana Maria Cordero-Noriega, 34, of Miami, was charged with larceny involving a person age 65 or older. She also faces similar theft and fraud-related charges out of Miami-Dade and Orange counties.
During her court hearing on Thursday, Broward Judge John "Jay" Hurley ordered Cordero-Noriega held on a $250,000 bond.
Cordero-Noriega, who had recently missed a court hearing for a similar scam in Margate, is considered a "flight risk," the judge said.
On Sept. 25, Cordero-Noriega was one of three people involved in preying on the elderly woman outside Sedano's supermarket at 10345 Pines Blvd., police said.
One of her accomplices, Mauricio Quintero, 26, of Miramar, was charged in November in the scam and remains jailed on $250,000 bond.
Police say that Cordero-Noriega and an unidentified woman, who remains at large, approached the victim and asked for help cashing a winning lottery ticket. They claimed they were unable to cash the ticket because they were undocumented immigrants.
In exchange for help, they promised the woman a $30,000 share of their winnings and took her on a shopping spree to prove her "good faith," authorities said.
The pair took the woman to apply for an $8,500 bank loan, which they successfully got, and used department store charge cards to buy merchandise at Walmart, Macy's, Best Buy, RadioShack and JCPenney, according to an arrest affidavit. Quintero joined them while at the stores and took the purchases before leaving the victim with Cordero-Noriega and the other accomplice, the affidavit said.
The total value in merchandise and valuables taken, including the victim's personal jewelry: more than $17,000, police said. They bought flat-screen TVs, smartphones and designer watches, authorities said.
The unidentified woman also involved in the scam is described as 28 to 35-years-old, 5-feet-2 and about 150 pounds.
According to police, Cordero-Noriega refused to provide a statement to authorities when she was taken into custody on Wednesday. Police were notified of her apprehension by bail bond agents who searched for her after she failed to appear in court in connection with the Margate case.
On Oct. 24, police say Cordero-Noriega similarly approached a woman outside Walmart, 5555 W. Atlantic Blvd., and used the same tactic to ask for help cashing a $1 million lottery ticket.
Ultimately the targeted woman grew suspicious and contacted police. Cordero-Noriega was arrested and posted bond the next day.
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