An elderly Oak Bluffs woman was the victim of an alleged scam after a man, claiming to be an investor, solicited $25,000 from her.
On Wednesday, Oak Bluffs police were dispatched to a woman’s apartment at Woodside Village, an elderly housing complex, for a report of possible elder abuse.
The woman told officers she had recently been a patient at McLean Hospital in Belmont, according to the report. While receiving treatment there, she met a man named Mason Buddy, 81, who said he had ties to the Island, but needed a place to stay. The two struck up a conversation about the Island, and the woman agreed to let Buddy stay at her apartment.
In the report, the woman claimed Buddy convinced her to write him several checks totaling $25,000, which he said he would invest in Tortola, British Virgin Islands, to avoid taxes, but after Buddy cashed two of the checks at a bank off-Island, she felt he had no intention of investing the money for her.
Buddy returned to the woman’s apartment Thursday after cashing the checks when a member of the cleaning staff notified police Buddy had returned.
After interviewing Buddy, police seized $9,000 in cash from a suitcase belonging to him before placing him under arrest, according to the report.
In addition to the money seized, police discovered Buddy deposited a check worth $7,000 into his account at Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank and attempted to deposit another check worth $6,000 before being denied because of a freeze placed on the woman’s account.
In the report, Buddy claimed the money was a loan and that he had “borrowed $25,000 in credit” from the woman, and that he had been “using it.” Buddy then told police the money enabled him to continue trading on the S&P 500.
Buddy was arraigned on a charge of larceny by single scheme over $1,200 Friday in Edgartown District Court, and remains in police custody after failing to post bail. He will appear in district court on Jan. 24.
In the police report, Buddy’s prior record is redacted. But a search of public records found he served time in federal prison. He was released in 2002.
According to court records, during his sentencing in 1999, Buddy was ordered to make $334,000 in restitution to more than 11 people he had bilked out of money. He was also ordered not to incur any new charges.
“But the fact is I recognize, candidly, that imposing a sentence on you at your age and with this background has little likelihood or reforming or rehabilitating you,” Judge William Young wrote. “But we trust it may deter other people. And it is a just sentence … It is not this court’s view that in view of your age the sentence ought to be less. And I’m even willing to accept in some sort of deluded way you hoped that you might earn something with other people’s money.”