‘Modern-day Bonnie and Clyde’ sentenced to more than 10 years in federal prison for using stolen mail to raid bank accounts
SAVANNAH, Ga: Attorney General William P. Barr and U.S. Attorney Bobby L. Christine today announced the largest coordinated sweep of elder fraud cases in history, surpassing last year’s nationwide sweep. The cases during this sweep involved more than 260 defendants from around the globe who victimized more than two million Americans, most of them elderly.
In the Southern District, a Liberty County woman has been federally charged with defrauding an elderly dementia patient in an effort to steal nearly half a million dollars.
Sailor Jones, 57, of Midway, Ga., is charged with wire fraud in United States District Court in Savannah, said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. She faces up to 20 years in federal prison.
According to an information filed in the case, Jones, who is not a licensed nurse, owned a company purporting to provide at-home health services that was not licensed with the state of Georgia. From about December 2016 to June 2017, Jones provided cleaning and other minor tasks for a now-90-year-old woman who lived at a Savannah retirement community that provided the dementia patient with 24-hour skilled nursing services.
During this period, according to court documents, Jones fraudulently gained access to the woman’s checking and retirement accounts by posing as the victim, taking more than $300,000 and depositing the funds in Jones’ own personal accounts.
“Sailor Jones exploited an elderly dementia patient to enrich herself,” said Southern District of Georgia U.S. Attorney Bobby L. Christine. “Rather than serving this vulnerable woman’s needs, Jones instead fed her own greed. Our office and the Department of Justice will not tolerate fraud and abuse of our elder citizens, particularly those who have no choice but to trust others for their care.”
“The U.S. Secret Service has invested in identifying and investigating elder abuse and exploitation. Because eliminating this crime requires coordinated action, we work together with other federal, state and local agencies so that, together, we can build a more responsive network and give seniors the tools to avoid financial scams and elder abuse before it starts” stated Resident Agent in Charge Glen Kessler of the U.S. Secret Service Savannah Resident Office. “These senior citizens have earned the right to enjoy their retirement years with a sense of security.”
The charge is merely an allegation, and defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office.
“Crimes against the elderly target some of the most vulnerable people in our society,” Attorney General William P. Barr said. “But thanks to the hard work of our agents and prosecutors, as well as our state and local partners, the Department of Justice is protecting our seniors from fraud. The Trump administration has placed a renewed focus on prosecuting those who prey on the elderly, and the results of today’s sweep make that clear. Today we are announcing the largest single law enforcement action against elder fraud in American history. This year’s sweep involves 13 percent more criminal defendants, 28 percent more in losses, and twice the number of fraud victims as last year’s sweep. I want to thank the Department’s Consumer Protection Branch, which led this effort, together with the Department’s Criminal Division, the more than 50 U.S. Attorneys’ offices, and the state and local partners who helped to make these results possible. Together, we are bringing justice and peace of mind to America's seniors.”
The Department of Justice took action in every federal district across the country, through the filing of criminal or civil cases or through consumer education efforts. In each case, offenders allegedly engaged in financial schemes that targeted or largely affected seniors. In total, the charged elder fraud schemes caused alleged losses of millions of more dollars than last year, putting the total alleged losses at this year’s sweep at more than three fourths of one billion dollars.
Since President Trump signed the bipartisan Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act (EAPPA) into law, the Department of Justice has participated in hundreds of enforcement actions in criminal and civil cases that targeted or disproportionately affected seniors. The Justice Department has likewise conducted hundreds of trainings and outreach sessions across the country since the passage of the Act.
For any questions, please contact Barry Paschal at the U.S. Attorney’s Office at (912) 652-4422.