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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Iowa

Friday, October 28, 2016

Jamaican National Arrested In Alleged Scheme To Defraud Elderly Illinois Couple

Ricardo Fredrick Smith a/k/a “Rickey Ricardo Smith” a/k/a “Ricky”, 38, from St. James Parish, Jamaica, has been charged with Mail Fraud, Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud, and Money Laundering. ­ The charges are contained in a Complaint unsealed today in United States District Court in Cedar Rapids. ­

The Complaint alleges that, on or about October 2015, Smith was working at a local lawn care company in the Cedar Rapids area and opened a bank account at a local financial institution.  A week later he allegedly added a co-conspirator to the account as a joint owner.  The co-conspirator then allegedly deposited $13,000 into this joint account by means of a check drawn on an account of an elderly Illinois woman.  Smith and the co-conspirator allegedly received the $13,000 through a mail fraud scheme in which they were allegedly participating.  In the following weeks, Smith and the co-conspirator allegedly made a series of cash withdrawals from the account.     

If convicted on all charges, Smith faces a possible maximum sentence of 60 years’ imprisonment, a $750,000 fine or not more than twice the gross gain or twice the gross loss from the offenses, whichever is greater, $300 in special assessments, and 3 years of supervised release following any imprisonment. ­

Smith appeared today in federal court in Cedar Rapids and was held without bond.  Smith’s next appearance for a detention hearing is on November 2, 2016, at 4:30 p.m., in Cedar Rapids. 

As with any criminal case, a charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tim Vavricek and was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Court file information at

The case file number is 16-mj-265.

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Elder Justice
Updated November 3, 2016