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Press Release

Las Vegas woman gets 7 years for elder financial fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of West Virginia

CLARKSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – A Nevada woman was sentenced to more than 7 years in prison today for committing financial fraud against the elderly, United States Attorney William Ihlenfeld announced.

Shelly Leipham of Las Vegas was found guilty by a jury in April of “Wire Fraud,” “Mail Fraud,” and “Money Laundering.” Leipham called an elderly victim living in Harrison County and claimed the victim won one million dollars. Leipham defrauded the victim of nearly $25,000 by directing the victim to send that amount to her over the course of a two-year period by mail and wire.  

“Leipham badgered and manipulated her elderly victims by calling them over and over again, disregarded the hardships they were experiencing while she was exploiting them, repeatedly lied to them, and accepted no responsibility for her conduct,” said U.S. Attorney Ihlenfeld. “The lengthy prison term imposed today was necessary in order to address her callous conduct.”

In addition to serving an 87-month prison sentence, Leipham must pay a money judgment of $336,402. 

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarah E. Wagner and Andrew R. Cogar prosecuted the case on behalf of the government. The Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, the West Virginia State Police, and the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office investigated.

This case was prosecuted as a part of the Department of Justice Elder Fraud Initiative. Since the bipartisan Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act (EAPPA) was signed into law, the Department of Justice has participated in hundreds of enforcement actions in criminal and civil cases that targeted or disproportionately affected seniors. 

Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Kleeh presided.

Updated August 30, 2022

Elder Justice