HOUSTON – Prosecutors with The Harris County District Attorney’s Office said Larry Aguero was preying on the unemployed. People desperate to find work during this pandemic.
“This is the perfect opportunity for scammers to really pounce on those who are experiencing harder times,” said Elizabeth Hayes, the Assistant Harris County D.A. of the Financial Crimes Division.
Hayes said Aguero claimed to work for the City of Houston, promising his victims jobs that do not exist.
According to the allegations, which were read aloud in court, the victims were given a job application and told to provide a copy of their driver’s license, identification cards, social security cards, bank account and routing numbers.
Prosecutors said they were told to send the information by text message or email and also instructed to pay $108 for a uniform.
The receipt showed the money was being paid to the City of Houston and provided the address 901 Badgy, which is not a real address and appears to be a misspelling of the address 901 Bagby Street.
The alarm was sounded after several of the victims confronted Aguero at Aguero’s southwest Houston apartment. They showed up around the same time and started talking to each other.
“They started to recognize they hey this is a little suspicious. This doesn’t sound right. One of the complainants actually showed up to the city and started wandering around, trying to get information about like, hey I have this job...where am I supposed to report to? Gradually that complainant learned this job doesn’t exist, we don’t know what you’re talking about,” Hayes said.
Prosecutors said over $1,800 was found inside Aguero’s apartment. Aguero is charged with fraudulent use of identifying information.
Prosecutors said if you’re ever approached by someone about jobs with the city or county, look for an official I.D. badge and take a good look at the paperwork you’re given. An authentic job application isn’t going to be a photocopy with misspellings.