World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
RALEIGH – Today, as the Department of Justice recognizes World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, Robert J. Higdon, Jr., the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, reaffirms the Eastern District of North Carolina’s commitment to combating elder abuse and financial exploitation. Mr. Higdon commented: “Our seniors deserve our best efforts to prosecute those who attempt to capitalize on their vulnerabilities. As the Department of Justice continues to collaborate with other Departments to fight elder abuse on the national scale, the Eastern District of North Carolina continues to pursue justice for elderly victims in its district.”
Examples of our commitment to prosecuting crimes targeting our elderly citizens include the following:
On November 22, 2016, a grand jury in the Eastern District of North Carolina returned a 21-count indictment charging Treyton Lee Thomas with wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering. The indictment alleges that Thomas defrauded individuals and financial institutions of more than six million dollars in an investment fraud scheme. Thomas claimed he would invest the funds conservatively in US Treasury Bills. Instead, Thomas made risky investments in commodities, futures, options, and foreign currency exchange. For many years, Thomas concealed the losses with fictitious financial documents. His elderly father suffered the greatest losses and, sadly, died during the investigation, at age 84. THOMAS’s father was forced into bankruptcy as a result of his son’s fraud. He lost his successful automobile warranty business and his home. The case is scheduled for trial, on November 5, 2018, before the Honorable James C. Dever, III.
On April 24, 2018, a grand jury in the Eastern District of North Carolina returned a 13-count indictment charging ELIZABETH ANN KRINER WILLIAMSON, with ten counts of Bank Fraud, two counts of Aggravated Identity Theft, and one count of Mail Theft. The indictment alleges that beginning in or around April 2015, and continuing until in or around June 2017, WILLIAMSON used her elderly in-law’s bank information to make unauthorized cash withdrawals and purchases in excess of $96,000. If convicted of all counts, WILLIAMSON could face a maximum penalty of thirty seven years imprisonment, a minimum penalty of two years imprisonment, a $1,500,000 fine, and a term of supervised release following any term of imprisonment. Her arraignment is currently scheduled for September 2018.
The charges and allegations contained in the indictments are merely accusations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.