Police say 65-year-old Patricia Berak was involved in both ends of the scam. First, as a victim, she lost an undisclosed amount of money. Then, with the promise she would be refunded her money, Berak agreed to help the participants scam another person.
An 87-year-old male of Great Neck was contacted by an unknown caller informing him he had won a lottery, according to detectives. The victim was instructed to forward series of checks and money grams to Berak's home address. The victim is now suffering a loss of $40,000 for doing so.
Berak is charged with third-degree grand larceny and first-degree fraud.