The Ocean County Prosecutor and Barnegat Police are looking for a Florida man charged with scamming $10,000 from an elderly Barnegat man by claiming it was cash bail to get his nephew out of jail.

The crook was nearly successful in swindling a second $10,000 payment from his victim.

Juan C. Piedrahita, 49, of Hollywood, Florida, was charged with theft by deception.

According to a release from Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer, the crime started with Piedrahita calling his victim, posing as a lawyer.

The investigation revealed that Piedrahita, posing as an attorney, telephonically contacted an elderly victim advising him that his nephew had been in a motor vehicle accident. Piedrahita convinced the victim that his nephew was under arrest and that $10,000 cash bail was needed to secure his release. The victim obtained the cash and met Piedrahita - now posing as a courier - at a CVS parking lot in Barnegat.

Then, police say, Piedrahita tried to take his victim for another $10K.

After leaving the parking lot, the elderly victim was contacted once again and instructed to provide an additional $10,000 as payment to the alleged victim of the purported motor vehicle accident. It was only when the victim was questioned by bank staff that he contacted his nephew and confirmed that his nephew was not in a motor vehicle accident nor was he under arrest. Detectives were able to obtain surveillance footage of the area surrounding the CVS parking lot, which captured the rental vehicle Piedrahita had rented at Newark International Airport, and were thereafter able to confirm Piedrahita’s identity based on that footage.


Police are looking for Juan C. Piedrahita’s and have issued a warrant for his arrest. If you have any information about this crime of about Piedrahita’s whereabouts, contact Barnegat Township Police at 609-698-5000, extension 262.

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