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Press Release

Bronx Man Sentenced To 80 Months’ Imprisonment For His Role As Lead Courier In “Grandparents” Mail Fraud Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Josiah DeJesus, age 22, of Bronx, NY, was sentenced on February 29, 2024 by United States District Judge Robert D. Mariani to 80 months’ imprisonment, to be followed by a 3-year term of supervised release, for his role as the lead or coordinating courier in a Dominican Republic-based “grandparents” fraud scheme that preyed upon elderly American victims from states across the country.    

According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, from approximately June 2020 to October 2020, along with a group of other men from Bronx, NY, that he recruited, DeJesus regularly traveled from New York City to locations in Pennsylvania to retrieve UPS and Fed Ex packages containing thousands of dollars in cash.  These packages were sent by elderly victims, who were induced to send the money based upon false claims that their grandchildren had been arrested and charged with serious crimes and, consequently, were in immediate need of money.  These false claims were made to the elderly victims in phone calls that they received from oversees co-conspirators in the Dominican Republic, who posed either as the victims’ grandchildren or as attorneys representing the victims’ grandchildren.  At his sentencing, DeJesus was ordered to pay $366,303.28 in restitution to the victims of the scheme.   

This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation –Philadelphia Division, and its state and local law enforcement partners in Berks County, PA.  Assistant United States Attorney Jeffery St John prosecuted the case.

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Updated March 5, 2024

Elder Justice