ALBANY — A Grand Jury indicted a 23-year-old Bronx man on Thursday, Nov. 14 for what authorities are calling a “Grandparent Scam”
Kelvin Pichardo stands formally charged with the felonies of grand larceny as a hate crime and attempted grand larceny.
The indictment alleges, according to District Attorney David Soares, that on Sept. 19, Pichardo stole more than $3,000 from a person over 60 years old. The threshold for grand larceny is $3,000.
Last month, Colonie police arrested Pichardo for stealing about $9,000 from a Sand Creek Road resident after telling the elderly person he was the grandson and needed money to help with an emergency.
He was working another scam by again posing as a grandson and asking a Broderick Road elderly person for $9,500 in bail money. The would be victim, however, called police before any money was sent downstate. Colonie investigators, working with police in Yonkers, sent a bogus package, watched when it was picked up and arrested Pichardo.
His cell phone was confiscated and is being scrutinized by State Police and investigators are hopeful of more arrests.
He and his suspected associates changed their MO because Colonie police circulated a video of him allegedly in the hallway outside of his first victim. Since that video made the rounds on media outlets, two other Colonie victims came forward and investigators sent bait packages to addresses in New Jersey and Virginia.
The hate crime designation attached to the grand larceny charge is because he targeted his victims based on their age. Grand larceny is a Class D felony, but when coupled with a hate crime designation, the punishment, if convicted, would be consistent with a Class C felony.
His next appearance is slated for Friday, Nov, 15 in Albany County Court. Assistant District Attorney Benjamin Mastaitis is prosecuting.