A May-December romance became a November-February rip-off when a young Boca Raton woman borrowed more than $20,000 from an elderly Pompano Beach man, then disappeared, according to Broward Sheriff's detectives.
Gina Marks, who called herself Gina Diprima and Amanda Gina Marks, met Clifford Rogerson in November 2012 at a Walgreen's in Pompano Beach. Rogerson, then 85, lent Marks, then 25, a dollar when she came up short at the checkout counter and their friendship began, investigators said.
The relationship grew as they regularly dined out, held hands and kissed. That's when she told him she loved him and wanted to travel the world with him, detectives said.
Over the course of three months, she borrowed more than $20,000 and promised to repay him after her father's business was sold in February 2013. When Rogerson's retirement account disappeared so did she, detectives said.
Rogerson told WFOR-Ch. 4 that he is a veteran of World War II but is "young at heart," and he has a hard time believing he fell for the stories Marks was telling.
"She is a good con artist, she played it pretty good," Rogerson told the station during an interview.
He last heard from Marks in mid-February 2013, when she called from a blocked number and told him she no longer had a cellphone. Rogerson, now 86, reported the crime in May 2013, officials said.
Detectives spent months trying to confirm her identity. Marks, now 26, is facing charges of grand theft and exploitation of the elderly. She is approximately 5-foot-5 and weighs about 115 pounds. She may have a school-age son, officials said.
Investigators are asking anyone with information on Gina Marks' whereabouts to call Detective Scott Stone at 954-321-4255 or report anonymous tips to Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477 or browardcrimestoppers.org.