Woman accused of targeting senior citizens in lottery scam

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SAN DIEGO — The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office sought public help Friday in locating additional alleged victims of a woman accused of targeting senior citizens in a scam involving a fake winning lottery ticket.

Maria Luisa Henao, 42, is accused of scamming elderly Latino women out of money by claiming she had a $1 million winning lotto ticket, which she was unable to cash due to immigration issues.

Prosecutors allege Henao would use one or two accomplices to corroborate the story to the victims, including one person who would pose as a lawyer over the phone and claim the ticket could be cashed.

The victims were then asked for $20,000 and promised to get their money back, plus an additional $10,000 for their assistance in cashing the ticket.

Henao is currently facing felony charges that include theft from an elder, grand theft of personal property and attempted robbery. She’s currently due in court Sept. 3 for a preliminary hearing at the downtown San Diego courthouse.

Prosecutors say they have identified three victims, but believe there could be more, as well as additional suspects at large.

Anyone with information regarding the case was asked to contact the District Attorney’s Elder Abuse Unit at 619-531-3572.

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