A 26-year old Israeli woman was arrested in Florida last week following a series of attempts to cash suspicious, giant checks at area banks from her 77-year old American husband of four months.
Lin Helena Halfon is being accused of stealing $666,666 from Richard Rappaport. She surfaced on the radar of local authorities when she tried to cash a $1 million check in Rappaport’s name at a Tampa bank, claiming she was using the money to purchase a yacht. Bank employees declined to cash the check.
She later returned with three checks of $333,333 in her husband’s name, only to be rebuffed again. At that point, bank employees made copies of Halfon’s Israeli passport and identification documents for authorities.
Halfon would go on to cash two of the checks at another bank week later. Her senior citizen husband apparently was reluctant to admit that his half-century younger wife was conning him, but after the checks were cashed, he realized that he was the victim of fraud. After making this clear to authorities, an arrest warrant for Halfon was issued.
Rappaport’s daughter was apparently instrumental in preventing her father from being abused further. It’s likely the “marriage” between Rappaport and Halfon was a sham the beginning, a gambit for the trickster to pocket money from the senior citizen. Marriages for sham financial and immigration purposes are relatively common.
Halfon is being charged with money laundering, exploitation of a elderly person, and organized fraud, with bail being set at $1 million. It’s unclear if she’s obtained American citizenship from her sham marriage to Rappaport, but the short length of her marriage makes that unlikely. She’s likely to be deported to Israel when her criminal case is adjudicated.
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