WILKES-BARRE — A preliminary hearing for a man from Old Forge charged with swindling more than $171,000 from an 83-year-old Mountain Top woman was continued Monday.
Richard Joseph Hannick, 63, of Wood Street, appeared in Luzerne County Central Court where, through his attorney Mark Singer, requested a hearing, which compels prosecutors to present witnesses and offer evidence before a district judge.
When defendants request a hearing, preliminary proceedings are rescheduled and are held at the courthouse.
Central Court’s processing of preliminary hearings only provides defendants an opportunity to waive criminal charges to county court.
In Hannick’s case, his preliminary hearing was rescheduled to June 15 at the courthouse.
Hannick had no comment about his case when he exited central court on Monday.
Wright Township police charged Hannick in April after the elderly woman and her daughter claimed he swindled more than $171,000 from July 14 to Aug. 15.
According to the criminal complaint:
Hannick introduced himself to the elderly woman while she was playing a slot machine at the Mohegan Sun Pocono casino. She believed Hannick got her name from her casino player’s card.
Hannick told the woman he was in a bind for money. She felt sorry for him and gave Hannick $100.
Hannick returned to the woman, who gave him $700 in casino credit hoping he would leave her alone. Hannick persisted with talking to the woman learning that the woman’s daughter was in-between jobs and was attempting to gain employment with Prudential Securities.
Hannick allegedly told the woman his nephew, “Paul Walker” works at Prudential Securities and asked the woman for money in giving the woman’s a job at the firm.
When the daughter arrived for an interview, she learned there was no interview and there was no Paul Walker employed at the firm.
Hannick pledged to the woman he would pay her back when he sold a Florida vacation home he owned. He kept asking the woman for more cash because he owned back taxes on the Florida home, the complaint says.