Alejandro J.D. Garcia, 31, of Miami, Fla. May 9, 2022: Theft and attempted theft by false representation greater than $10,000

By Shereen Siewert

A 31-year-old Miami, Fla. man is facing criminal charges in Marathon County after being accused of defrauding an elderly Marshfield woman who believed she was bailing her granddaughter out of jail.

The suspect, Alejandro JD Garcia, is jailed on a $30,000 cash bond.

An investigation started on May 6 when a woman called the Marshfield Police Department to report her mother had been the victim of a $40,000 scam, and was being pressured to pay an additional $100,000 to the fraudster. Police say the woman took a call on May 5 from a man who pretended to be a Marshfield Police officer and said her granddaughter was in jail after being involved in a crash. The woman agreed to provide $40,000 in cash for bail, which was allegedly collected by the Garcia at the woman’s town of McMillan home.

After providing the money, the woman was allegedly contacted again by a “lawyer” and told that a passenger in the vehicle which her granddaughter struck was pregnant and had a miscarriage as a result of the crash. The alleged victim was told there was a $100,000 civil suit against her granddaughter, which needed to be paid.

Before going to the bank, the woman learned there was no crash and her daughter was not in trouble. But the woman then continued to lead the suspect to believe she was planning to pay – and the police were contacted.

Meanwhile, police say she was receiving phone calls every 30 minutes from the suspect, requesting updates on the process of getting the money. Garcia was arrested when he arrived at the home.

Garcia faces two felony charges filed May 9 in Marathon County Circuit Court: theft by false representation and attempted theft by false representation, each with additional potential penalties because the intended victim is elderly. He remains jailed as of Thursday, with a preliminary hearing set for May 18.