BALTIMORE (CBSMiami/AP) — Federal prosecutors have charged two Florida men and a Baltimore woman for allegedly engaging in a “grandparent fraud” scheme that scammed at least 70 elderly people out of more than $1.5 million.
Authorities said three defendants duped their victims into believing that a grandchild or other relative needed money for bail, legal fees or other expenses.READ MORE: Have You Seen Ashley Espinoza-Sanchez? Missing Woman Last Seen At Hard Rock Stadium
An indictment unsealed on Friday charged Medard Ulysse, 37, of Miami; Eghosasere Avboraye-Igbinedion, 26, of Miramar, Florida; and Amaya English, 21, of Baltimore; with conspiracy to commit mail fraud.
“By preying on the grandparents’ love for their family and then stealing their retirement savings, these defendants allegedly victimized them twice,” acting U.S. Attorney Jonathan Lenzner said in a statement.
Ulysse surrendered to authorities on Friday. Avboraye-Igbinedion and English were arrested on Wednesday.READ MORE: NASA, Boeing Scrub Scheduled Starliner OFT-2 Launch
Two other people already have pleaded guilty to related charges that they defrauded more than 28 elderly victims of more than $939,000. David Green, 25, of Miami Gardens, Florida; and McArnold Charlemagne, 33, of Miramar, Florida; are scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 29.
The people who participated in the scheme allegedly posed as police officers or lawyers when they called elderly people across the U.S. and told them that a relative needed cash to get out of jail or pay for legal fees.
“Once the victims did send money, the conspirators called the victims asking for more cash, regularly obtaining tens of thousands of dollars from the retirement savings of victims,” Lenzner’s office said in a news release.MORE NEWS: FIU Professor Francisco Mora Tapped As US Ambassador To Organization Of American States
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