News and Press Releases

Home Health Care Provider Charged with Bank Fraud for "Hijacking" Bank Accounts of Senior Citizen

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 17, 2005

Las Vegas, Nev. - A woman employed as a home health care provider in Las Vegas, and three others, have been indicted by the Federal Grand Jury on Conspiracy and Bank Fraud Charges, after they allegedly assumed control over an elderly victim's bank accounts and obtained monies, goods and services for themselves, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

TAMMI CAMACHO, age 39, LOUIS VILLESCAS, age 35, and LEMAR ALLEN, age 28, all of Las Vegas, and ANDREW CLOUGH, age 26, of Sparks, Nevada, were indicted on November 8, 2005. The Indictment was sealed until today. VILLESCAS and CAMACHO surrendered themselves to authorities on November 16 and November 17, 2005, respectively, in Las Vegas; defendant ALLEN is in state custody on unrelated charges; and the arrest warrant for defendant CLOUGH is pending. Each defendant is charged with Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud and 16 counts of Bank Fraud. CAMACHO and ALLEN are also charged with two additional counts of Bank Fraud. If convicted, they face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the Conspiracy charge, and up to 30 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine on each Bank Fraud charge.

The Indictment alleges that from approximately September 15 to December 16, 2004, the defendants conspired to commit bank fraud by assuming control of the victim's bank accounts and misusing the accounts to fraudulently obtain monies, funds, goods, and services. During that period, TAMMI CAMACHO was employed as a home health care provider at the victim's residence in Las Vegas. CAMACHO allegedly acquired the victim's personal identifiers and bank account information, and electronically accessed the victim's bank accounts and changed her address and telephone number to ones controlled by CAMACHO. CAMACHO and her co-conspirators then opened new bank accounts in the victim's name, transferred money into accounts controlled by CAMACHO, wrote checks to themselves, and otherwise used the monies and funds for their own benefit.

Between October 16, 2004, and November 26, 2004, CAMACHO wrote 18 checks on the victim's checking accounts totaling $110,319, and fraudulently transferred $64,100 to accounts controlled by CAMACHO.

CAMACHO and VILLESCAS had an initial court hearing today before United States Magistrate Judge Leavitt, and were released on personal recognizance bonds pending trial.

This case is a result of an investigation by the Henderson Police Department and United States Secret Service, and the Southwestern Identity Theft and Fraud Task Force (SWIFT), comprised of representatives of those agencies as well as the United States Postal Inspection Service and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kimberly M. Frayn.

The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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