TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A 77-year-old Tampa businessman has filed for divorce from his 26-year-old wife who investigators said attempted to cash a million dollars from his bank account at an Amscot, 8 On Your Side has learned.
Court records show Richard Rappaport’s attorney initiated a dissolution of marriage with Lin Halfon on Friday, Jan. 10. The couple was married in Sarasota in August.
Halfon has been incarcerated for a month at the Hillsborough County Jail on Falkenburg Road. She is facing charges of money laundering, organized fraud, exploitation of the elderly and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
The criminal investigation began after a Tampa Amscot employee refused to cash a $1 million check with both of their names on it. Court documents said she returned with three checks in the amount of $333,000.
After being notified by investigators, Rappaport said he wanted to give his new wife the benefit of the doubt and did not want her to be deported to her native Israel, according to a warrant affidavit.
When asked later if he felt he was the victim of fraud, Rappaport told investigators, “yes,” according to the arrest warrant.
8 On Your Side has reached out for comment from Rappaport’s divorce attorney. We received a brief statement saying, “On behalf of Mr. Rappaport, we decline to comment. Thank you.”
Halfon’s defense attorney Todd Foster said he plans to file motions asking for bond and evidentiary hearings.
Foster told 8 On Your Side 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,” Foster said during a sit-down interview last month.
Rappaport’s daughter said in an arrest affidavit that family members were unaware of the marriage.
“Titus believed that Halfon was ‘conning’ Rappaport due to his age,” FDLE Special Agent Victoria Morris wrote in the affidavit.
Foster told 8 On Your Side it “was a valid marriage” and that they loved each other.
He said Halfon plans to plead not guilty to all charges at the arraignment scheduled for Wednesday.