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Press Release

Mother and son duo charged in $1M elder fraud scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

HOUSTON – A 56-year-old Houston resident has been arrested following her indictment in a fraud scheme with her son in which they allegedly tricked an elderly couple out of over $1 million, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Authorities have arrested Regina Lynn Thomas aka Nikki Laday. She made her initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dena Hanovice Palermo who ordered her into custody pending a detention hearing May 6.

Regina Thomas and her son Isaiah Thomas, 38, Houston, are both charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and 67 counts of wire fraud. 

The indictment alleges Regina Thomas pretended to be a nurse and assisted a couple with caring for an elderly parent. The couple allegedly allowed her to live at their home while they were out of the country for work. 

Regina Thomas then told the couple federal authorities wanted them in connection for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) fraud and provided them with whom she claimed was an attorney, according to the charges. That individual was allegedly not a real attorney.

The indictment alleges the couple believed they were paying for the attorney’s services. However, the money was allegedly deposited into Isaiah Thomas’ account who shared the funds with his mother.    

If convicted, both face up to 20 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine for each count.

The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Laurence Goldman is prosecuting the case.

The case is brought as part of the Elder Justice Initiative. Its goal is to support and coordinate the Department of Justice’s enforcement and programmatic efforts to combat elder abuse, neglect and financial fraud and scams that target our nation’s older adults.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.

Updated May 2, 2024

Elder Justice
Financial Fraud