NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A Hampton woman was sentenced today to two years in prison for stealing over $21,000 from an elderly client and her family.
“The financial and emotional harm these deceitful and illegal acts can cause victims and their family members cannot be overstated,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “The victims in this case entrusted Payne to take care of their elderly family member. Instead, she used that trust to steal over $21,000 from them. I would like to commend the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for their terrific work investigating this case.”
According to court documents, Sandra Payne, 58, 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.
“Criminals who use the U.S. Mail to commit identity theft and fraud not only jeopardizes people’s trust in the U.S. postal system, their activities threaten the overall financial health of our communities,” said Postal Inspector in Charge Peter Rendina, U.S. Postal Inspection Service - Washington Division. “We will continue to investigate and work with the United States Attorney’s offices to bring individuals engaged in these criminal activities to justice.”
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 sentencing by U.S. District Judge Robert G. Doumar. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy Franker prosecuted 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 are 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.
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