NEW YORK (AP) – A teenage vixen conned an 85-year-old man out of as much as a $1 million during a two-year relationship, and he may not have been her only victim, Queens prosecutors said.

Louis Bruno of Queens said he met Natasha Marks two years ago outside a Waldbaum’s supermarket when she was 18 and he was 83. Bruno was hooked after Marks flirted with him and complimented his jacket.

In the relationship that followed, Marks talked him out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, at times claiming she needed to pay medical bills, prosecutors said. She also persuaded him to grant her power of attorney and used that to take out an estimated $550,000 mortgage on his house, prosecutors said.

“I took good care of her,” Bruno told the Daily News. “She said she needed the money because she was sick. That’s what she’d say.” Bruno, a retired toll-booth clerk and lifelong bachelor, said he’d planned to give Marks an engagement ring. “She lied about everything,” he said.

Marks was arraigned Thursday on fraud and theft charges, including a hate crime charge related to age-bias. She was ordered held on $500,000 bail. Prosecutor Kristen Kane said Marks, a Queens resident, could face life in prison if convicted.

Her capture came after Bruno realized last month that his finances had shrunk dramatically – to $12,000 from nearly $400,000 – while looking at his bank papers. He confided in a neighbor who convinced him to contact authorities.

Marks is also accused of trying to con another senior she met outside a Staples store in Queens, and prosecutors said she may have ties to a nationwide network of scammers. But Marks’ defense lawyer is denying the charges.

“They might as well call it a billion dollars,” lawyer John Scarpa told the Daily News.


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