SANTA ANA (CBS/AP) — A Canadian man suspected of conning an 86-year-old widow and others out of more than $100,000 was extradited to Southern California on Thursday night, concluding an international manhunt that lasted a year and a half.
Seal Beach police said Daniel Marcotte, 30, was booked at the Orange County Men’s Jail on suspicion of fraud.
It’s not clear whether Marcotte, dubbed the “Granny Scammer,” has a U.S. attorney.
Police allege the Montreal man called the widow twice last year, claiming to be her grandson. He asked Maxine Scott to send $30,000 to a New York address to get him out of a Mexican jail, authorities said.
“He called and said, ‘Hi, grandma. How are you?’ And I said, ‘Well, hi, Randy. How are you?'” Scott said.
The widow became suspicious and contacted authorities.
Officials say Marcotte was captured on surveillance video smiling as he picked up the money.
He was arrested in September in Canada.
“We believe that he’s been doing this potentially even before that, so the only regret we have is that we didn’t catch him sooner,” detective Mary Martinez said.
She flew to Canada, where Marcotte was posing as a celebrity chef. A Montreal resident notified police when he recognized Marcotte from his photos featured by various news outlets.
Scott credits Martinez with Marcotte’s capture.
“This was a victim who had lost pretty much all of her savings who her husband, when he passed away, had given to her,” Martinez said. “So it really struck us very much to the core and we needed to find him.”
Police believe Marcotte has swindled other victims across the U.S. and Canada of at least $100,000.
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