TAMPA (WFLA) – The attorney for the newlywed wife busted after trying to cash a million bucks of her 77-year-old husband’s money said this case and his defense hinge on one main question.
“Can a wife steal from her husband? Is that a crime? We’re looking at that,” Attorney Todd Foster told 8 On Your Side Friday morning.
On Thursday, he visited his client Lin Helena Halfon, 26, for the first time at the Hillsborough County Jail on Falkenburg Road.
“She’s a strong woman,” Foster said. “She’d been in the army, she served two years in the Israeli army but obviously never been in jail before.”
According to court documents, the Israeli citizen had been living in a Bayshore Boulevard condo that belongs to the Tampa businessman she married in August.
The arrest warrant affidavit obtained by 8 On Your Side describes what led FDLE Special Agents to charge Halfon with money laundering, organized fraud and exploiting her elderly husband, Richard Rappaport.
“I believe wholeheartedly it’s a legitimate marriage,” Foster said. “It’s legal and I think that there were lawyers consulted prior to the marriage and there were prenuptial agreements drawn up.”
In the affidavit, Rappaport’s daughter told a special agent that “neither she nor anyone else in the family knew Rappaport had married Halfon.” Rappaport’s daughter also said she believed Halfon was “conning” her father due to his age.
The state’s investigation began November after Halfon attempted to cash a million dollar check with both of their names on it. She told employees at Tampa Amscot she planned to buy a yacht in Miami with her husband.
At first, Rappaport gave his wife of about four months the benefit of the doubt, but he eventually told investigators he believed he was “a victim of fraud and theft.”
“I think the facts as they ultimately come out will be different materially from what’s in that affidavit,” Foster told 8 On Your Side.