By Matthew Roscoe •
Updated: 27 Feb 2023 • 16:21
Three men sentenced after defrauding dozens of elderly citizens in US "grandparent scam". Image: Daisy Daisy/Shutterstock.com
The three men were sentenced after defrauding dozens of elderly citizens aged between the ages of seventy-nine and ninety-four in a “grandparent scam” in the US state of Rhode Island, New England.
At least fourteen Rhode Island seniors were conned out of more than $300,000 (€283,461), announced United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha.
The attorney said that the elderly citizens were contacted by members of the conspiracy who impersonated family members or attorneys, claiming that a family member, often a grandchild, had been arrested and was in immediate need of cash for bail payments.
The victims were directed to gather cash for these fake bail payments and to provide the money to a courier who would be sent to their homes.
The Rhode Island Justice Department said on February 27: “Bryan Valdez-Espinosa, 22, and Diego A. Alarcon, 22, of Union City, NJ; and Jason Hatcher, 40, of New York, NY, previously admitted to a federal judge that in June 2021, they travelled around Rhode Island posing as the couriers, collecting cash from victims of the scam. The elder victims were defrauded out of a total of $304,081.
“In July 2022, Hatcher pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft; Alarcon and Valdez-Espinosa each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.”
It added: “On Friday, February 24, Alarcon was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith to 30 months of incarceration to be followed by 3 years of federal supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution totalling $304,081.
“Valdez-Espinosa was sentenced by Judge Smith on February 13, 2023, to 30 months of incarceration to be followed by 3 years of federal supervised release, and to pay restitution in the amount of $262,240.
“Jason Hatcher was sentenced on November 21, 2022, to 33 months in federal prison followed by three years of federal supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution totalling $304,081.”
The news comes after the tragic death of an elderly man in Spain’s Malaga recently.
Eight people were arrested in Andalucia’s Malaga after they scammed an elderly man out of his life savings.
The elderly gent, who was defrauded of more than €58,000, committed suicide after finding out that he had been left with less than €100, as reported on Wednesday, February 22.
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at email@example.com.
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