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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 7, 2019

U.S. ATTORNEY’S OFFICE FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN TAKES PART IN LARGEST-EVER NATIONWIDE ELDER FRAUD SWEEP

Attorney General William P. Barr and United States Attorney Matthew D. Krueger today announced the largest coordinated sweep of elder fraud cases in history, surpassing last year’s nationwide sweep. The cases during this sweep involved more than 260 defendants from around the globe who victimized more than two million Americans, most of them elderly.

In the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Milwaukee resident Chris Kubiak, former financial advisor for Freedom Investors Corp, and Calton & Associates, Inc., was indicted on charges of elder fraud January 15, 2019. The indictment, which charges seven counts of wire and mail fraud, alleges a scheme wherein Kubiak arranged to make withdrawals or to liquidate the investment accounts of his elderly clients. The indictment identifies a total of six clients, from whom he is alleged to have wrongfully appropriated approximately $370,000 over a five year period.

“Crimes against the elderly target some of the most vulnerable people in our society,” Attorney General William P. Barr said. “But thanks to the hard work of our agents and prosecutors, as well as our state and local partners, the Department of Justice is protecting our seniors from fraud. The Trump administration has placed a renewed focus on prosecuting those who prey on the elderly, and the results of today’s sweep make that clear. Today we are announcing the largest single law enforcement action against elder fraud in American history. This year’s sweep involves 13 percent more criminal defendants, 28 percent more in losses, and twice the number of fraud victims as last year’s sweep. I want to thank the Department’s Consumer Protection Branch, which led this effort, together with the Department’s Criminal Division, the more than 50 U.S. Attorneys’ offices, and the state and local partners who helped to make these results possible. Together, we are bringing justice and peace of mind to America's seniors.”

“Schemes that target the elderly are too common and can cause devastating harm,” said U.S. Attorney Krueger. “Today’s announcement makes clear that federal, state, and local law enforcement partners are committed to bringing justice to criminals who take advantage of our seniors.” 

The Department took action in numerous federal districts across the country, through the filing of criminal or civil cases or through consumer education efforts. In each case, offenders allegedly engaged in financial schemes that targeted or largely affected seniors. In total, the charged elder fraud schemes caused alleged losses of millions of more dollars than last year, putting the total alleged losses at this year’s sweep at over three fourths of one billion dollars.

The charges are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Since President Trump signed the bipartisan Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act (EAPPA) into law, the Department of Justice has participated in hundreds of enforcement actions in criminal and civil cases that targeted or disproportionately affected seniors. The Justice Department has likewise conducted hundreds of trainings and outreach sessions across the country since the passage of the Act. 

A fact-sheet with technical-support fraud case information can be found here.

A fact-sheet with cases on mass mailing fraud can be found here.

A fact-sheet with examples of a few elder fraud cases involving extradition in which the Office of International Affairs played a substantial role can be found here.

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Updated March 7, 2019