There are criminals and con men and Ponzi schemers. And there are dudes like David N. Branfman of Delray Beach, who managed to use his con-man powers to swindle a lonely 84-year-old widow out of more than $12,000.
Branfman exploited the woman's desire for companionship and took her bank account for a ride by ganking $12,429 from the woman.
A gentleman and a scholar, this guy.
According to a Palm Beach County sheriff's report, Branfman told the woman he was a licensed contractor and offered to fix her home in Boynton Beach.
As the two got acquainted, Branfman told the woman that his father would be a perfect match for her. He offered to play matchmaker but would stall the setup when more and more "work" mysteriously needed to be done to the home.
Two months later, Branfman was still finding newer problems to "fix" around the house and kept stringing the woman on with promises of setting her up with his dad.
Eventually, the woman's daughter wised up to the scam and called police. Investigators soon determined that, shockingly, Branfman never did any actual work around the house, even though he kept charging the woman for it.
When two months went by and Branfman was still finding repairs to do, the woman's daughter called police. And detectives say they discovered he didn't fix the problems -- he created them.
Branfman was arrested on Monday on fraud charges.
According to police, he did own a company called David Branfman Building Services, but it's no longer in operation. Branfman doesn't currently have a license to do general contract work.