Two Sentenced For Grandparent Fraud Scheme
Two Plattsburgh Women Sentenced for Participation in Grandparent Fraud Scheme
PLATTSBURGH, NEW YORK –Naromie Joseph, 29, and Christie Joseph, 25, were sentenced on May 23, 2016 and May 10, 2016, respectively, in United States District Court for the Northern District of New York announced United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian and Homeland Security Investigations Acting Special Agent in Charge Michael Kennedy.
The defendants pled guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud as a result of their participation in a scheme to defraud elderly victims. The elderly victims were contacted by people who told them that their grandchildren and other relatives needed money for bail and other purposes. Believing their loved ones needed help, the elderly victims sent the money to various addresses in Plattsburgh that the defendants arranged to use for the scheme.
Naromie Joseph was sentenced to time served after spending approximately 13 months in custody awaiting the disposition of her case; 3 years of supervised release; and was ordered to pay $27,200.00 restitution to the victims. Christie Joseph was sentenced to 4 months of weekends in jail; 3 years of supervised release; and also ordered to pay restitution to the victims.
The United States Attorney’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations would like to remind the public of the following:
- Be suspicious of anyone who calls unexpectedly asking for cash.
- Verify any supposed emergency, by calling friends and family, before sending money.
- Develop a secret code or "password" with family members that can be used to verify a true emergency.
- Resist the pressure to act quickly
- Try to contact another family member to determine whether or not the call is legitimate.
- Never wire money based on a request made over the phone or in an e-mail…especially overseas. Wiring money is like giving cash—once you send it, you can’t get it back.
If you think you’ve been victimized, contact Homeland Security Investigations at 1-866-DHS- 2ICE or at ice.gov/tips or contact local authorities or the state consumer protection agency.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Kopita prosecuted the case. The Plattsburgh Police Department originated the investigation and partnered with Homeland Security Investigations throughout. The United States Postal Service, Clinton County Sheriff’s Office, the Canada Border Services Agency and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Project COLT also participated.