DOJ Announces Massive Effort to Target Crimes Against Elderly

Today, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Department of Justice had undertaken a widespread initiative intended to target defendants from around the globe who “victimized more than a million Americans, most of whom were elderly.”

The effort will “include criminal, civil, and forfeiture actions across more than 50 federal districts.”

Of the 250 defendants targeted, 200 were charged criminally.

“The Justice Department and its partners are taking unprecedented, coordinated action to protect elderly Americans from financial threats, both foreign and domestic,” said Attorney General Sessions.  “Today’s actions send a clear message:  we will hold perpetrators of elder fraud schemes accountable wherever they are.  When criminals steal the hard-earned life savings of older Americans, we will respond with all the tools at the Department’s disposal – criminal prosecutions to punish offenders, civil injunctions to shut the schemes down, and asset forfeiture to take back ill-gotten gains.  Today is only the beginning.  I have directed Department prosecutors to coordinate with both domestic law enforcement partners and foreign counterparts to stop these criminals from exploiting our seniors.”

The schemes perpetrated against the elderly by the defendants reportedly included “mass mailing, telemarketing and investment frauds,” as well as “individual incidences of identity theft and theft by guardians.”

The United States’ Chief Postal Inspector, Guy Cottrell, took the opportunity of DOJ’s announcement to remind elderly Americans to be vigilant.

"Winners. That’s what so many of the people who received these solicitations in the mail thought they were. But they’re not. They are victims of scams that Postal Inspectors have seen and investigated for decades. In fact, some of the same operators we encountered 20 years ago are back. But so are we. Yesterday, Postal Inspectors around the country executed search warrants on 12 locations that some of these same operators used to run their scams. We’re letting the American public know – and especially our vulnerable older Americans – that Postal Inspectors are working hard to protect them and ensure their confidence in the U.S. Mail.”

 

 

 

 

 

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