A Brooklyn man has entered the running to win the 'biggest jerk in New York' title, neck and neck with the guy who kicked a cat, and the ReBar owner who left betrothed couples in the lurch. The alleged jerk in question is Ariel Lemos Hernandez, a 41-year-old who lives in Flatbush. Hernandez is being charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of a forged instrument after scamming over $42,500 from an 87-year-old woman.
According to the District Attorney's office, Hernandez first befriended the victim, Margaret O’Donnell, in 2012. Hernandez then spent time with the retired social worker, driving her on errands and gaining her trust. Between May 2012 and March 2014 O'Donnell frequently wrote Hernandez checks for his driving services, paying $59,000 for what she believed to be emergency auto repair.
But apparently Hernandez was not quite satisfied with the money or his level of dirt-bag-ness, and in November 2013 he allegedly began forging checks from O'Donnell's account, awarding himself $42,500 for expertly scamming a helpless old woman. About $400 of the charges came from a debit card charge at a restaurant, and at that rate we can only assume he indulged at Le Bernardin or one of NYC's other most splurge-worthy restaurants.
According to the DA's office, Hernandez is awaiting arraignment in Brooklyn Criminal Court and faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.
“This defendant allegedly ran a scam and preyed on a vulnerable woman who trusted him. We will not tolerate such shameful acts of elder fraud anywhere in Brooklyn," District Attorney Thompson said.