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Press Release

Hampton Man Sentenced to 15 Years for Defrauding Elderly Victims and Tax Evasion

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A Hampton man was sentenced today to 15 years in prison for defrauding victims in the Hampton Roads area out of more than $630,000 and evading the assessment of more than $50,000 in income taxes.

According to court documents, between 2013 and 2019, Clarence M. Rice Jr., 56, falsely represented to victims that he was going to receive a sizeable inheritance from his father’s death, under the condition that Rice paid off all his existing debts. He tricked victims into giving him large sums of money using the false representations that he needed the funds to obtain his inheritance.

As a result of his fraud scheme, Rice stole more than $350,000 from a 75-year-old retired bricklayer and more than $140,000 from an elderly blind man. In total, Rice obtained at least $632,017.44 in fraudulent proceeds from the scheme. As part of the plea, Rice agreed that his victims were of limited financial means and suffered substantial hardship from his fraud.

Despite earning income from his fraud scheme, Rice has not filed taxes since 2011. Between 2015 and 2019, he defrauded the IRS by living a cash lifestyle, negotiating checks from victims for U.S. currency instead of depositing them in bank accounts, hiding assets on prepaid cards, and lying to law enforcement about his income and assets. The approximate tax due and owing resulting from Rice’s failure to pay his personal income tax is $52,064.18.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Kareem Carter, Special Agent in Charge, Washington, D.C. Field Office, IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen.

Norfolk Police Department and Hampton Police Department provided significant assistance in this case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney D. Mack Coleman and Managing Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian J. Samuels prosecuted the case.

Combatting elder abuse and financial fraud targeted at seniors is a key priority of the Department of Justice. Elder abuse is an intentional or negligent act by any person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to an older adult. It is a term used to describe five subtypes of elder abuse: physical abuse, financial fraud, scams and exploitation, caregiver neglect and abandonment, psychological abuse, and sexual abuse. Elder abuse is a serious crime against some of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens, affecting at least 10 percent of older Americans every year. Together with our federal, state, local and tribal partners, the Department of Justice is steadfastly committed to combatting all forms of elder abuse and financial exploitation through enforcement actions, training and resources, research, victim services, and public awareness. This holistic and robust response demonstrates the Department’s unwavering dedication to fighting for justice for older Americans.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:21-cr-60.

Updated March 29, 2023

Elder Justice
Financial Fraud