Police: Norwalk man arrested in connection with Darien cash fraud case

A Darien police car.

A Darien police car.

Staff / Hearst Connecticut Media

DARIEN — Police have charged a Norwalk man with allegedly defrauding an elderly person by convincing them their son was in trouble and needed to send cash for his legal defense.

Darien police said they recently charged Emmanuel Bazil, 27, of Norwalk, with second-degree criminal attempt at larceny related to an incident in March 2019 in town. Authorities had been unable to locate him for nearly a year and a half following the incident.

Bazil was identified as a suspect after a Darien real estate agent received a delivery of $10,000 cash in a package to a vacant home she was selling, according to police.

The agent reported the package to the police, who later discovered the cash had been sent from an elderly person believing they were sending cash to pay for legal fees for their son in trouble, as per a caller.

The real estate agent also told police that, after opening the package, a man appeared at the residence three times “demanding” the location of the package, to which the Realtor replied it had been turned over to the vacant home’s owner.

Police said Bazil was suspected of perpetrating similar fraudulent incidents in the area whereby elderly victims were misled via phone calls, causing them to send large quantities of cash to local addresses where it could then be intercepted.

In the March 2019 incident, police said the victim had been told over the phone that her son had gotten into legal trouble, and the victim thought they were sending cash to a lawyer for his legal defense. Further, police said the caller had informed the victim that there had been a “gag order” imposed and they were not to tell anyone.

Police said the victim had sent an additional $10,000 to the same address before the second package was discovered by the real estate agent. The victim also told detectives they had been asked to send another $5,000 to an address in Haverstraw, N.Y.

Detectives obtained tracking information for that package and contacted the Haverstraw police. Officers in New York were able to make an arrest in their jurisdiction of the person who came to retrieve the package, according to Darien police.

In July 2019, an arrest warrant for Bazil was sought and granted, but attempts made at that time to locate him were unsuccessful. On March 19, Darien police met Bazil at a scheduled court date in Stamford where he was served with the arrest warrant. Bazil was in custody at the time.

Bazil was processed for the charges and remained in custody on $100,000 bond in this case.

The FBI reports that sounding the alarm that a family member, particularly a child or grandchild, is in immediate financial need is one of the most common elderly fraud practices. Tips from the FBI to avoid fraud include resisting the pressure to act quickly.

Scammers create a sense of urgency to produce fear and lure victims into immediate action, according to the FBI, and advise potential victims to call the police immediately if there is a threat of potential danger to themselves or a loved one. Also, it helps to avoid unsolicited phone calls, mailings, and door-to-door services offers.