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Press Release

Western District of Washington Takes Part in Largest-Ever Nationwide Elder Fraud Sweep

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington
Attorney General Focuses on Threats Posed by Technical-Support Fraud–Four Cases Filed in Western District of Washington

Seattle – Attorney General William P. Barr and U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran 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 Western District of Washington, three defendants operating various money‑transmitting schemes agreed to cease operation following civil complaints alleging that they were a critical part of tech support fraud schemes based in India.  The operators, in Seattle, Shoreline, and Gold Bar, Washington, collected the fraud proceeds, kept a percentage, and forwarded the bulk of the money to the telemarketing centers in India.  In one case, the Shoreline based conspirator sent more than $320,000 to India between December 2017 and May 2018.  A fourth company sued civilly in the Western District of Washington is one of the fraudulent tech support companies using telemarketing centers to defraud seniors in Western Washington.

“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.”

“Using our civil authority, we are stopping a key cog in the wheel of tech support fraud,” said U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran.  “By taking out those who process the payments for the fraudsters, we stop the flow of ill-gotten gain to those preying on our senior citizens.  This is a warning shot–a return to this fraud could result in additional sanctions.”

The Department 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 over three fourths of one billion dollars. 

The charges are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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.  The Western District of Washington also has formed an Elder Justice Taskforce.  To file a complaint with the District, please do so on the Western District webpage.

The four cases filed in the Western District of Washington are:

U.S. v. Joy Emmanuel, 19-cv-309

U.S. v. Jasvit S. Tahim, 19-cv-307

U.S. v. Christine Reeves and VCARE USA LLC, 19-cv-325

U.S. v.  Elagoon Business Solutions PVT LTD, 19-cv-00324

Assistant United States Attorney Kayla Stahman leads the Elder Justice Task Force in the Western District of Washington.

Contact

Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Public Affairs Officer Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@usdoj.gov.

Updated March 19, 2019

Topic
Elder Justice