A 59-year-old Bluffton man accused of posing as a bail bondsman and targeting Latinos was arrested in Hardeeville last week after claims from people who said they paid him to get loved-ones out of jail but instead were duped out of their money.
The man faces two counts of obtaining goods under false pretenses — misdemeanor charges — for allegedly posing as a licensed bail bondsman, attorney and translator, according to Hardeeville Police Capt. Arnold Middleton.
The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette typically do not identify those charged with misdemeanors.
Police suspect some of the man's victims have not come forward because they fear deportation.
The man was arrested Thursday in Hardeeville after a client of his agreed to work with police, Middleton said. He was released on his own recognizance from the Jasper County Detention Center on Friday, Middleton said.
Middleton said the man targeted Latinos in Jasper and Beaufort counties by collecting bail money, then pocketing some or all of the cash. Investigators believe the man has conned hundreds of undocumented immigrants out of as much as $100,000 in the past five years, Middleton said.
Other charges are expected, he said.