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Press Release

Boston Man Sentenced in Phony Bail Scam Targeting Senior Citizens

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE – A Boston man who participated in a scheme to defraud senior citizens by persuading them to send significant cash bail payments to various addresses in Rhode Island to secure the release of a relative they claimed had been arrested and was in jail, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Providence to three years’ probation, ordered to perform 150 hours of community service, and pay restitution to his victims in the amount of $31,500.

Julio J. Feliciano, 32, previously admitted to the court that between April and October 2019, he participated in a scheme that scammed seniors in at least four states, North Carolina, Delaware, Illinois, and Tennessee. Seniors were contacted and told that a relative, typically a grandson or nephew, had been involved in a serious car accident and that their relative had been arrested. The scammers told their victims that cash bail payments ranging from $7,000 to $9,500 were required to secure their relative’s release from jail. The claims were not true.

 In each instance, a member of the conspiracy, using various fictitious names, instructed the senior citizen victim to mail packages containing cash to locations in Rhode Island, including private residences, UPS stores, and a pharmacy. Feliciano admitted that he traveled to the various locations to retrieve the packages.

Feliciano, arrested on November 22, 2019, by Rhode Island State Police and agents from Homeland Security Investigations, pleaded guilty on January 21, 2020, to conspiracy to commit mail fraud. At sentencing today, U.S. District Court Judge Mary S. McElroy sentenced Feliciano to three years’ supervised release, to perform 150 hours of community service, and to pay restitution totaling $31,500 to the victims directly impacted by his criminal conduct.

Feliciano’s sentence is announced by United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman, Rhode Island State Police Superintendent James M. Manni, and Homeland Security Investigations Acting Special Agent in Charge Michael S. Shea.           

 The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lee H. Vilker.

Combatting elder abuse and financial fraud targeted at seniors is a key priority of the Department of Justice. If you are a victim or know a victim of elder fraud, you can call 1-877-FTC-HELP or go to ftc.gov/complaint. For downloadable Elder Abuse Prevention resources and for information about community outreach programs in Rhode Island, visit the United States Attorney’s Office’s Elder Justice Initiative web page at https://www.justice.gov/usao-ri/elder-justice

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Contact

Jim Martin
(401) 709-5357

Updated June 23, 2020

Topic
Elder Justice
Press Release Number: 20-74