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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 4, 2019

In-Home Caregiver Pleads Guilty in Elder Fraud Case

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A Hampton woman pleaded guilty today to aggravated identity theft for stealing over $21,000 from an elderly client.

According to court documents, Sandra Payne, 47, was employed to provide in-home care for an elderly client in Newport News. During the course of her employment at that residence, Payne gained access to credit and debit card account numbers belonging to the family of her client. She used that data, without lawful authority or the knowledge and consent of the account owners, to purchase goods and services in excess of $21,000 at various merchants in the Tidewater area.

Payne pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft and faces a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison when sentenced on May 13. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

In 2018 the Department of Justice and its law enforcement partners coordinated the largest sweep of elder fraud cases in history. The cases involved more than 250 defendants from around the globe who victimized more than a 1 million Americans, most of whom were elderly. The cases include criminal, civil, and forfeiture actions across more than 50 federal districts.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Peter R. Rendina, Inspector in Charge of the Washington Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Robert G. Doumar accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan M. Cowles and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Chad W. McHenry are prosecuting the case.

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 is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:18-cr-98.

Topic(s): 
Elder Justice
Identity Theft
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Communications joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated February 4, 2019