A New York City waitress stands accused of swindling nearly half a million dollars from an elderly patron who considered her a friend.
Alicia Legall, 46, was arraigned on Tuesday on charges of grand larceny, identity theft and criminal possession of a forged instrument, with prosecutors saying she stole nearly $480,000 from an 84-year-old widow who frequented Legall’s diner in the Flatlands neighborhood of Brooklyn.
According to the New York Post, Legall first met the elderly customer at the Arch Diner in 2002, eventually befriending the woman and slowly gaining her trust. Over the years, Legall managed some of the woman’s private information, including her Social Security number, address and banking information, officials said.
The elderly woman also allowed Legall to run small errands and do some grocery shopping on her dime, prosecutors say. However, Legall allegedly ended up spending $204,390 of the woman’s money at shops including Apple and Victoria’s Secret, as well as at restaurants and clubs in Florida, the Post reports. She’s also accused of taking out $73,339 in cash advances in the woman’s name and writing herself 75 checks totaling $200,000.
Prosecutors also argued that Legall gambled some of the woman’s money at casinos and racetracks in New York and Atlantic City, N.J.
“[Legall] spent many years gaining the victim's trust only to betray it,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, per the New York Daily News. “We will now seek to hold her accountable for this serious offense."
Legall is currently being held on $2.5 million in bail. If convicted, she faces up to 15 years in prison.
Legall is expected back in court in early December.