MIAMI – A woman told a detective that she was struggling with food shortages in Venezuela ― while her daughters’ father was playing baseball professionally in the United States — when a neighbor connected her with an attorney based in Miami, records show. A few years later, she became the victim of a fraud, police said.
The attorney promised that she was going to force David Odúbel Herrera, who played for the Philadelphia Phillies, to pay child support, and was very generous and kind until she had lost all control over her finances and she was a migrant in the United States, according to Detective Kelsey Beinvenu.
Jeneffer Natally Gaskin Azuaje, who identified as an attorney, was really a labor trafficker and a fraudster, according to Beinvenu, a Doral detective who is a member of the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office human trafficking task force.
Gaskin Azuaje hired an attorney in Venezuela who negotiated the first deal with Herrera, according to Beinvenu’s affidavit in support of the arrest warrant in the case.
“The court ordered Herrera to deposit $1,000 for each of his daughters in a Venezuelan bank account. When the victim left Venezuela, there were $15,000 in the account, but she never received it because [Gazkin Azuaje] had control of it,” Beinvenu wrote, records show.
The negotiations started again when Gaskin Azuaje helped the victim to apply for a U.S. Visa to move to the U.S., and drove her and her daughters to visit Herrera during spring training in Clearwater.
“Herrera offered $1.3 million, but [Gaskin Azuaje] said no and wanted $4 million,” Beinvenu wrote. “Herrera’s manager then offered a trust fund with $830,000, add his two daughters to his MLB contract and would recognize his youngest daughter, but [Gaskin Azuaje] said no and wanted more plus a house.”
During the negotiations, the victim reported she woke up at about 4 a.m. to do unpaid domestic work at Gaskin Azuaje’s house in Miami-Dade, according to Beinvenu. Last year, Gaskin Azuaje also had the victim take up an additional job at a McDonald’s with her identity and gave her all of her earnings, about $15,535, according to Beinvenu.
The victim told police late last year that she had decided to report the fraud because Gaskin Azuaje had threatened her and she was afraid of her. She said Gaskin Azuaje had her visa documents, identifications, birth certificates, medical records and school records.
“The bad thing about me, I get revenge,” Gazkin Azuaje said, according to the victim, records show.
Police officers questioned the victim in Spanish on Oct. 6 and Oct. 13, 2022, at the Doral Police Department’s headquarters, and she talked to federal investigators on Feb. 23, at the Homeland Security Investigations Miami office, according to the arrest warrant a judge signed in May.
Authorities investigated Gaskin Azuaje. State records show she became a licensed real estate agent in 2016 and was a Doral-based entrepreneur who had owned Global International USA LLC, Beauty Bar by Ileana, Servimax USA; Alimentos Mundiales Venamerica, and Miami Equipment and Export.
Gaskin Azuaje’s real estate license was revoked before it was set to expire on Sept. 30, state records show. She was at a three-bedroom house in Kendall when officers arrested her at about 12:15 p.m., on Monday, according to the arrest report.
Miami-Dade correctional officers booked Gaskin Azuaje shortly before 6 p.m., on Monday, at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center, county inmate records show. She was being held without bond on Tuesday.
Gaskin Azuaje is facing charges of labor trafficking, a first-degree felony; scheme to defraud, a third-degree felony; and unlawful use of a two-way communication device, a third-degree felony.
Detectives were asking anyone with information about this and other cases to call Miami-Dade County Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.
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