The joy of being a grandparent is unmatched. Many grandparents love to lavish gifts on their grandchildren and agree that they would do most anything for them. When a grandchild is in trouble, they often go to their grandparents for help before they take their problems to their own parents. Authorities believe several people in Florida and elsewhere took advantage of this devotion with a fraud conspiracy to cheat the elderly of over $1.5 million.
Three people are facing fraud and conspiracy charges after an investigation led police to their arrest. Prosecutors believe the trio called more than 70 senior citizens and pretended to be police officers or attorneys. The three allegedly convinced many of the elderly that their grandchildren were in legal trouble and needed money. Once the callers received the cash, they reportedly called the grandparents back to ask for additional money.
Federal charges and severe penalties
The woman and two men now face federal charges since the scheme supposedly involved wire transfers of funds and victims in multiple states. Prosecutors say the accused effectively wiped out the retirement funds of numerous grandparents. This factor plus the amount of money involved may also enhance the severity of any sentences they receive should a court convict them.
A conviction for federal fraud conspiracy may carry a prison sentence as long as 20 years. Additional penalties may include fines and restitution, not to mention the lifelong mark on one’s criminal record. Since it is likely federal investigators have already compiled significant evidence, those facing such charges would be wise to give intense efforts to their criminal defense strategies.