Three people have been arrested for their role in a telephone extortion ring that claimed victims throughout Central New York, including Cayuga County.
The alleged ringleader, a man from Puerto Rico, and his co-conspirators, 40 year old Eligio Jimenez-Correa and 26 year old Orlando Gonzalez-Rivera, both of Syracuse, are charged with multiple counts of grand larceny, attempted grand larceny, coercion and conspiracy after an indictment was unsealed in Onondaga County Court. According to the indictment, the ring-leader called victims and claimed their relatives were in a car accident that injured his nephew. He then claimed to have taken the victim’s loved one to a nearby home and demanded money from the victim for their return, claiming his injured relative did not have insurance to pay medical bills. According to the Attorney General’s office, the ringleader would threaten physical harm to the victim’s family members if the ransom was not paid, either by wiring funds or by dropping it off at two locations in Syracuse. After some of the victims paid the money, they would go to an area hospital to pick up their relative, only to learn they were the victim of a hoax.
All three suspects are now in State Police custody.