Florida Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Impersonating Federal Officers in Nationwide Elder Fraud Scheme
NEW ORLEANS – Today, U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser joined Attorney General William P. Barr and the entire Department of Justice in observing the 15th Annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. The Department echoes voices around the world condemning elder abuse, neglect and exploitation.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for our country and the world, but among those most severely affected by the threat of the novel virus are our senior citizens. During this time when seniors are most vulnerable and isolated from their families and loved ones by social distancing and quarantine restrictions, bad actors have immediately exploited this international tragedy to prey on the elderly through a whole host of scam and fraud schemes. As the world takes this day to remember the elderly during these uncertain times, the Department of Justice remains relentlessly committed, through its department-wide Elder Justice Initiative, to prevent and prosecute fraud on America’s seniors.
The Department will aggressively prosecute fraudsters exploiting the Covid-19 pandemic and targeting seniors offering them fake testing kits and fake help obtaining stimulus and Paycheck Protection Program Funds. On this day dedicated to recognizing our seniors, the Department of Justice sends a strong message that we continue the fight to keep seniors safe a top priority.
“World Elder Abuse Awareness Day provides us the opportunity to look back at our accomplishments and look forward to our future endeavors to combat elder abuse,” said U.S. Attorney Strasser. “Elder fraud schemes target elderly, disabled and other vulnerable consumers, luring them into fraudulent ventures that affect victims nationwide. Elder fraud generates excessive losses, which have a profound effect on our nation. With the unwavering cooperation of our investigative partners, we will hold the perpetrators of elder fraud schemes accountable wherever they are. Our office reminds seniors and their caregivers to be vigilant for fraudulent schemes and, if they become aware of or believe they are the victim of a health care fraud scheme, to contact law enforcement.”
Earlier this year Attorney General Barr declared “Prevention and Disruption of Transnational Elder Fraud” to be an Agency Priority Goal, making it one of the Department’s four top priorities. Within the last year, the Eastern District of Louisiana has investigated a number of elder fraud cases, including the six Mexican Nationals involved in a $10 million dollar time-share fraud scheme.
Major strides have already been made to combat transnational elder fraud:
For more information on enforcement actions, training and resources, research, and victim services, please visit www.justice.gov/elderjustice.
# # #