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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Bradford County Man Charged Federally With Defrauding 92 Year Old Of $400,000

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a grand jury in Scranton returned an Indictment today charging a Bradford County man with defrauding a 92 year old victim of approximately $400,000.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, the Indictment alleges that between April 2011 and December 2013, Alan J. Fassett, age 66, of Athens, Pennsylvania, engaged in a scheme to defraud an elderly woman, who, during 2012 and 2013 was a resident in a nursing home in Athens.  The nineteen-count Indictment alleges that Fassett used the purported authority of a Power of Attorney to steal more than $400,000 from the victim, including unlawfully transferring securities and other assets of the victim into Fassett’s personal bank accounts and used them for his personal benefit.  The Indictment charges counts of wire fraud, money laundering, and aggravated identity theft.

The investigation was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service and the Athens Police Department.  Prosecution is assigned to United States Attorney Michelle Olshefski.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecutes crimes against the elderly as a matter of high priority.

Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

The maximum penalty under the federal statute for wire fraud is 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine on each count.  The maximum penalty under the federal statute for money laundering is 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine on each count.  The maximum penalty under the federal statute for aggravated identity theft is 2 years imprisonment consecutive to the predicate crime, and a $250,000 fine.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.


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Updated May 6, 2015