Western District of Washington takes part in largest ever nationwide elder fraud sweep

Friday, April 5, 2019

Attorney General William P. Barr and U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran 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.

“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.

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


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