FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Four men accused of being members of a ring which scammed three senior citizens out thousands of dollars are behind bars.

Raphael Ramirez, 51; William Brown, 23; Daniel Smith, 41 and William Tinnell, 65, have been charged with grand theft and exploitation of the elderly.

They are accused of charging three elderly people with landscape work they didn’t need or never received.

The scheme reportedly began January, 2008 and ran through last month, according to their arrest warrants. The ring allegedly stole more than $20,000 dollars from the people.

During Ramirez and Brown’s bond court appearance, Circuit Judge John Hurley pointed out once the men found an “easy mark” the others would back to over the following days, taking turns, and charging even more. Judge Hurley set their bond at $30,000 and the men had to prove the money used to put up for bail came from legitimate sources.

In one case, one of the victims was charged $1,250 for landscaping services on April 7th. Three days later they were charged an additional $1,650 and on May 22nd they were charged $1,550, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

More arrests are expected.

The Sun-Sentinel contributed to this report.


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