The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced the largest coordinated sweep of elder fraud cases in history Tuesday.
This year, prosecutors charged more than 400 defendants, far surpassing the 260 defendants charged in cases as part of last year’s sweep.
In each case, offenders allegedly engaged in financial schemes that targeted or largely affected senior citizens.
The charged elder fraud schemes caused alleged losses of over a billion dollars.
“Americans are fed up with the constant barrage of scams that maliciously target the elderly and other vulnerable citizens,” said Attorney General William P. Barr.
“Millions of dollars are stolen or defrauded from senior citizens every year. Just last November, my office charged ten men with laundering proceeds acquired through online romance scams operated from Nigeria. In total, three elder Americans, including one from Oklahoma, lost $1.5 million to the fraudsters,” said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.
In addition to the defendants charged as part of the Nigerian fraud scheme, the U.S. Attorney’s Office charged Hillary Ginn, 42, of Tulsa in October with theft of mail, which resulted in financial losses for senior citizens.
Crystal Clark, 54, of Skiatook was also charged in 2019 with aggravated identity theft.
Clark allegedly used the victims’ credit cards to make multiple personal purchases.
Attorney General Barr also announced the launch of a National Elder Fraud Hotline that will provide services to seniors who may be victims of financial fraud.