Man is Suspected of Extorting Money from Elderly in Beaumont

A Hemet man is accused of lying to several seniors, convincing them they that he was a family member in trouble and in need of money. Authorities are looking for more victims.

A man accused of extorting money from a number of vulnerable seniors in Beaumont, Cabazon, Menifee and Perris, was arrested on Wednesday.

Michael Cross, 51, of Hemet, could face seven counts of extortion, 11 counts of attempted extortion and seven count of elder abuse, according to Riverside County Sheriff’s officials.

Investigators said Cross called elderly people by phone, convinced them he was their nephew or grandson and told them he was in desperate need of money, officials said.

Cross would tell the victim’s he needed money to get out of trouble and would arrange to meet at an ATM or restaurant parking lot, officials said. Even when the person arrived, Cross would continue the charade by claiming he as a friend of the nephew or grandson's there to collect the money on their behalf, officials said.

Cross was booked in the Robert Presley Detention Center on March 27. He has a court date on March 29.

Investigators said they believe there are more victims who were conned by Cross. The Sheriff's Department urges anyone who believes they were victimized to call Investigator Jason Trudeau, at the Perris Station by calling (951) 210-1000, or email the Perris Station PerrisStation@RiversideSheriff.org.

pam topper March 29, 2013 at 04:41 AM
Looks like he needs a shower too!
Ellen Carr March 29, 2013 at 05:30 AM
Evolved6 March 29, 2013 at 01:59 PM
Sad thing is this guy will just plead to some low charge do very minimal time and be out soon doing it all again
Sinflowercin March 29, 2013 at 09:49 PM
What is really sad is that the victims actually believed this guy!!
beaumontdave March 30, 2013 at 03:38 AM
It's amazing that this con works at all, that people can be that confounded by a stranger with little knowledge of family specifics. It would be neat if authorities had this guy on tape and you could hear his pitch


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