LOS ANGELES - A Panorama City woman accused of perpetrating a "sweetheart scam" against an 81-year-old man whom she met through a personal ad pleaded no contest last week.Myrta Molina, 53, was sentenced to 248 days in county jail and five years probation. She was also ordered to pay $6,500 in restitution and to stay away from the victim and his home. Judge Larry Knupp of Norwalk Superior Court also ordered Molina to refrain from posting personal ads. Molina met the victim when he responded to a personal ad in a senior citizen publication, prosecutors said. Within two months of meeting, Molina began asking the victim for money to pay for her rent and utilities. Testimony at Molina's preliminary hearing revealed that in July 2013, the victim twice attempted to make bank withdrawals totaling $82,000 for his "girlfriend." A bank teller did not allow the transactions to go through and alerted authorities.
********** Published: Jan. 9, 2014 - Volume 12 - Issue 39