News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington

Auburn Woman Indicted For Wire Fraud: Claimed Cancer Diagnosis To Steal More Than $400,000 From Elderly Victim

Also Fraudulently Collected Social Security Benefits

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 24, 2013

            A 51-year old Auburn, Washington woman was arrested this afternoon following her indictment for a wire fraud scheme in which she claimed to be a cancer patient, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.  Between May 2009 and September 2012, JULIE ANN DAHLQUIST convinced an elderly Auburn resident to support her financially by claiming the money was for cancer treatment.  In fact, DAHLQUIST had no cancer diagnosis.  DAHLQUIST is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Seattle at 1:30 tomorrow (Tuesday June 25, 2013.)

            According to the indictment, DAHLQUIST told the elderly victim that she had been diagnosed with cancer and had no medical insurance or any money for treatment.  The victim, concerned for DAHLQUIST’s welfare, wrote her checks to pay for the non-existent treatment.  The victim wrote checks for as much as $9,000 about three times a month.  In all, the victim wrote 190 checks to DAHLQUIST for more than $400,000.  The indictment alleges that DAHLQUIST used the money for gambling and other expenses.  In addition to wire fraud, DAHLQUIST is indicted for Social Security fraud.  The indictment charges that DAHLQIST concealed the $400,000 in proceeds from her fraud scheme so that she could collect $8,000 in Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits from the Social Security Administration.  DAHLQUIST also failed to disclose $100,000 in gambling proceeds.  The income that was allegedly concealed would have disqualified DAHLQUIST from receiving SSI benefits.

            Wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.  Social Security Fraud is punishable by up to five years in prison.

            The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations.  A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

            The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General (SSA-OIG) and was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Seth Wilkinson as part of a partnership venture between the Social Security Administration Office of General Counsel and the United States Attorney’s Office.

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