Israeli national Lin Helena Halfon has been arrested and charged with fraud for trying to cash a $1 million cashiers check. The check was in the name of her husband, 77-year-old Florida businessman, Richard Rappaport, whom she had married just four months earlier.
Halfon was arrested at the Tampa International Airport on December 16 for allegedly stealing over $600,000 from her elderly husband. One month prior to this incident a Tampa bank refused to cash a $1 million check, according to the Tampa Bay Times, citing court records.
On November the 7th Halfon walked into a Tampa Amscot Branch with the check bragging to employees that she intended to buy a yacht in Miami with her husband’s money, but because it was Rappaport’s name on the check, the bank refused.
Halfon reappeared at the bank sometime later with the same request, only this time she had three separate checks each with the amount of $333,333. The employees of the Amscot again refused her request but this time made copies of her Israeli passport, her U.S. visa and the questionable check. Then they immediately contacted local law enforcement.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, when authorities contacted Rappaport about the incident, he gave his wife the benefit of the doubt to avoid having her deported. Just weeks later, investigators learned that Halfon had two of the checks cashed by an Orlando business more than a thousand miles away.
Finally, on December 10th, Rappaport admitted to authorities that he did feel like he was the victim of fraud and his wife had been scamming him.
Even Rappaport’s daughter, Dayna Titus, told the investigators that she “believed that Halfon was ‘conning’ Rappaport due to his age.”
Halfon has since been charged with organized fraud, money laundering, and exploitation of an elderly person. Ironically, her bail has been set to $1 million.