Myers pleads not guilty in alleged rip-off scheme
BRIDGEPORT — A local man ripped off a WWII veteran and others from across the country for thousands of dollars before, police said, they arrested him following an armed standoff in a Fairfield bank.
Carl Myers, wearing a red, hooded sweatshirt, stood before Superior Court Judge Kevin Russo Tuesday morning and pleaded not guilty to first and second-degree larceny, telephone fraud, money laundering, risk of injury to a child, assault on a police officer, interfering with police and threatening.
He asked for a jury trial.
Myers’ lawyer, Corey Heiks, told a judge he will later argue for a reduction of his client’s $750,000 bond. The case was continued to June 5.
“Everyone in this country is presumed innocent until proven guilty,” Heiks said later as he left the Fairfield County Courthouse.
Police said the 46-year-old Myers, identifying himself as the owner of a Texas construction company, “From Start 2 Finish Construction,” allegedly stole $128,000 from a 91-year-old WWII veteran from Houston on the pretext of building a waterside residential complex in Stratford.
When Houston police contacted the veteran, police said, they determined the man suffers from dementia and said he was sending checks to Myers because he believed Myers had served with him.
Police said they later learned that Myers had allegedly stolen $15,000 from a 76-year-old Minnesota woman. The woman, who is ill, told detectives she had sent Myers the money after she and her granddaughter were threatened by unknown individuals, police said.
Police said they found evidence that Myers was allegedly setting up numerous other people as part of an apparent fraud scheme.
On April 19, police said they were alerted by the manager of the Sasco Hill Road, Fairfield, branch of the Bankwell Financial Group that Myers was in the bank attempting to cash a large check from a Texas bank.
When officers confronted Myers, they said he identified himself as the owner of a construction company but could provide no information on where he intended to build in Stratford or who was financing the project. He was not charged at that time.
However, four days later, police were called back to the bank.
Police said Myers had entered the bank with his young son and had gone into an office with a bank employee. When Fairfield police detectives approached him, police said Myers stood up with a gun in his hand which he began waving around asking, “What did I do wrong?”
Detectives pulled out their guns and demanded Myers drop his as Detective Fred Caruso ran over, grabbed Myers son and took him outside the bank.
After at first ignoring commands to drop his gun, police said Myers eventually placed it on the teller counter. But police said he fought with officers who tried to handcuff him and had to be Tasered.