ADAMS COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — We’re learning more about what’s being called one of the biggest alleged fraud schemes the Midstate has ever seen.
Prosecutors say one man schemed his way into hundreds of thousands of dollars across Adams County — Adams County Prison, to be exact.
That’s where Michael Hertz is being held. Accused of stealing $300,000 from 30 different people.
abc27 News spoke with one of those victims about the man who allegedly pulled this off.
Turns out, it’s a tale as old as time.
“He pulls on your heart strings. He’s very charming and he would be a fantastic salesman,” said Barbara Miller.
In fact, police say Michael Hertz was a fantastic salesman, of lies that allegedly duped Miller out of $3,400. That makes her one of the more fortunate victims. But police say her daughter lost $15,000.
“I started this because my daughter got hurt and you don’t hurt my daughter.”
She’s talking about an effort to find other suspected victims, whose names her daughter had “and being a mom, I started researching those names and tried to get in touch with them through social media,” added Miller.
Social media, the same way police say Hertz got to know his alleged victims, operating out of his home in Conewago Township. Ultimately, they say, convincing them to provide their passwords to financial services like Venmo ostensibly to help them do things like invest their money.
Barbara Miller and others went to Conewago Township Police who got the Adams County District Attorney’s Office involved:
“That’s the largest amount I’ve seen stolen by a single scammer that we were able to trace,” said
“He was talking about investing, and he knew things about calls and puts and straddles and options, things that if you’re not in the industry, you don’t understand.”
When you talk about an alleged con-man, keep in mind what ‘con’ stands for. confidence. And that’s what police say Michael Hertz built with his victims over a period of time.
This wasn’t an email out of the blue from a stranger and police say that’s what caused the alleged victims to let down their guard.