(U.S. Virgin Islands)- V.I. Attorney General Denise George announces that 52-year-old Lissette Algarin-Felix was advised of her rights and arraigned on September 12 on the formal charges of elder fraud filed by the Attorney General. She was extradited from Florida to face criminal charges by V.I. Dept. of Justice (VI DOJ) agents. She, along with co-defendant, Ricardo Algarin, her brother, are accused of financial fraud and exploitation of an elderly man on St. Croix between 2018 & 2019 based on an investigation by the VI Department of Justice investigators. If convicted, she faces up to fifteen years in prison.
It was further ordered that the defendant sign a Waiver of Extradition as a means of securing her release. A pretrial conference is scheduled on November 18.
On Friday, August 12, 2022, the U.S. Marshals Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested Algarin-Felix at her home in Davie, FL. She was taken into custody and transported to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office Jail Division. The USMS assisted the V.I. Dept. of Justice Special Investigations Division with the apprehension of Algarin- Felix. Algarin-Felix had been eluding the law since her brother Ricardo Algarin’s arrest. DOJ investigation revealed that the two defrauded the elderly man of over $70,000.
On April 6, 2022, VIDOJ agents arrested Ricardo Algarin, in Miami, Florida on similar charges. According to an affidavit in support of the arrest warrant, the investigation revealed that the two made unauthorized transfers from several of the man’s bank accounts and used personal identification information to obtain money and other personal property. Another man Ricardo Felix was authorized by the victim to perform many duties including handling the elderly man’s personal affairs. Felix notified a family member that he had stopped receiving any of the man’s mail, including his property tax bills at his mailing address at the Kingshill Post Office on St. Croix. After an investigation, it was revealed that a change of address form was completed by someone who forged the man’s signature and as a result, the mail had been forwarded to Fort Lauderdale, Florida at the registered address of Lissette Algarin-Felix and her husband, who is the younger brother of the caretaker, Ricardo Felix. It was also discovered that a Deed of Gift was on file at the Recorder of Deeds office naming Lissette Algarin-Felix as a granddaughter and granting the sole ownership of the victim’s home once his death certificate is filed. However, the victim did secure a will before his passing. The will signed and notarized did not list Lissette Algarin-Felix or Eddie Felix as beneficiaries. The will listed Ricardo Felix, his caretaker as the recipient of the property and a percentage of funds in his bank account. He listed two others as recipients for the remainder of the funds in the bank account. It was discovered that between February of 2019 to May, the victim’s bank account was wiped of at least $60,000. The email address and phone number associated with the victim’s bank account were confirmed as Lissette Algarin-Felix. The money was then transferred from Algarin-Felix’s account to her brother’s account, Ricardo Algarin. The victim suffered from many ailments and eventually passed away on November 6, 2019.
Attorney General George cautioned the public the defendants are not deemed guilty of the offenses charged unless or until they are proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
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