MENIFEE – SHERIFF PRESS RELEASE – On Wednesday, March 27, 2013, Menifee Police investigators served a search warrant at an address on Inez St., in the city of Hemet. Investigators were in search of evidence linking a resident to multiple cases of extortion in the cities of Menifee, Perris, Beaumont and Cabazon.
The suspect in the case, Michael Cross, 51 yrs., residing in the city of Hemet, CA, was arrested and booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center on seven counts of extortion, 11 counts of attempted extortion and seven counts of elder abuse.
The investigation revealed Cross randomly called numerous elderly people in the cities of Menifee, Perris, Beaumont and Cabazon and tricked them into believing he was their nephew or grandson who was in desperate need of money. Cross would tell the victim he needed money to get out of trouble and arrange for them to meet him at an ATM machine or restaurant parking lot. Cross would claim to be the nephew/grandson’s friend when he met the victims to collect the money.
Investigators believe there are several more victims who are unaware they were victimized or possibly embarrassed they were conned by Cross. The Sheriff’s Department urges anyone who believes they were victimized by such a ruse, to please contact Investigator Jason Trudeau, at the Perris Station by calling (951) 210-1000, or email the Perris Station PerrisStation@RiversideSheriff.org
Citizens may also submit an anonymous tip using the Sheriff’s CrimeTips online form.