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  • Writer's pictureRobin Lyons

A Smooth-Talking Con Man

The married couple in their 70s had planned well for the golden years. A few successful business ventures and wise investments provided them with a comfortable lifestyle until....

A man responded to an ad where the couple had listed their trailer for sale, he claimed to be a vehicle sales broker and could sell the trailer for a cut of the profit. The man began ingratiating himself with the elderly man. In fact, later, when asked about the man, the elderly gentleman described the vehicle sales broker as honest, humble, married with a teenager and he suffered with health issues—all false, except the married part.

The vehicle broker, after gaining the elderly man’s trust—ask for a small loan to buy/sell cars. He promised to return the money with interest.

Before repaying the loan, the vehicle broker told the elderly man about a friend whose father had passed away, leaving the friend a $100 million estate, which included real property and classic cars. The friend, however, didn’t have the money to release the estate. If the elderly man could help his friend with $40,000 cash, then the friend would inherit the estate free and clear. Then there were supposedly glitches, and the friend needed more money to settle the estate. In return, the elderly man would receive more money back than he paid.

Instead of paying back any money to the elderly couple, the two scammers, a man and his wife (a.k.a ‘the friend’), paid their bills, went out to restaurants, went on shopping sprees, and traveled. In the end, the elderly couple paid the vehicle sales broker over $1.5 million.

A U.S. Attorney associated with the case said,

“Seniors fall victim to fraud schemes at far greater rates than the rest of the population. We all need to watch out for our elderly friends and loved ones.”

The scheming ‘vehicle sales broker’ had previous fraud convictions. The local authorities arrested and investigated this crime. After pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, a judge sentenced the male conspirator to almost six years in prison and three years of supervised release. The judge sentenced the co-conspirator to five years in prison and three years of supervised release.

Please watch out for your elderly friends and loved ones. #fraud #elderabuse

Source: United States District Court, United States Department of Justice

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