Lin Helena Halfon Israeli woman arrested trying to grift newly married Florida husband, Richard Rappaport, out of $1m when she tries cashing in checks.
Lin Helena Halfon attempted to cash a cashier’s check at a Tampa bank on November 7, claiming she was going to use the money to buy a yacht in Miami with her businessman husband, Richard Rappaport, authorities said.
When Amscot bank employees refused, she allegedly left, only to return later that day with three checks, each for $333,333. Staffers didn’t cash the checks and called police.
Investigators notified Rappaport about what his wife was doing, with the elderly man saying he said he wanted to give his young wife the benefit of the doubt and didn’t want her to be deported to her native Israel, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
Of note, the couple did not live in the same home.
Two checks worth about $666,000 were eventually cashed by an Orlando business.
On November 12, investigators called around to Halfon’s condo.
She told them she that she had mailed the checks to her sister in Israel as she and Rappaport had a fight. Rappaport’s family had allegedly urged him not to give Halfon any money.
‘Halfon advised [investigators] that she does not work, and Rappaport pays all her expenses, like a normal married couple,’ Halfon’s arrest affidavit states.
Despite insisting she had mailed the checks to Israel, two of them were cashed by a man at a bank in New Jersey less than a fortnight later.
Investigators subsequently obtained a warrant ordering the bank to freeze the third $333,333 check.
Tampa Bay Times have not disclosed the identity of the man who cashed the two checks, as he has not been charged. However, it’s believed he is an associate of Halfon’s.
She was arrested on December 16.
Asked later if he felt he was the victim of fraud, Rappaport told investigators, ‘yes,’ according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
The couple were married in August in Sarasota. It remained unclear how they initially met.
Rappaport’s daughter, Dayna Titus, said she and other family members were left in the dark about the marriage, according to the affidavit.
‘Titus believed that Halfon was ‘conning’ Rappaport due to his age,’ the affidavit states.
Halfon was arrested earlier this month at Tampa International Airport.
She is facing charges of money laundering, organized fraud and exploitation of an elderly person. Her bail was set at $1 million during her first court appearance.
Halfon’s attorney, Todd Foster, said, ‘There’s a valid marriage between this couple and we look forward to bringing forward additional facts to bring clarity to this situation.’