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70 elderly people targeted in fraud scheme; suspects charged with racketeering

FILE - Eight people were indicted on charges of swindling more than $2 million from 70 elderly...
FILE - Eight people were indicted on charges of swindling more than $2 million from 70 elderly people.(CNN, file photo)
Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 8:12 AM CDT
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(CNN) - For the first time, the U.S. Department of Justice used federal racketeering charges to arrest suspects for defrauding the elderly.

Eight people were indicted on charges of swindling more than $2 million from 70 elderly people.

In the scam, senior citizens were convinced their grandchildren were in legal trouble and needed thousands of dollars for bail.

The San Diego Elder Justice Task Force, a collaboration between the U.S. attorney, the FBI and local law enforcement cracked the case.

From California, the investigators turned up the ring, which allegedly operated in 15 states.

The FBI says elder fraud is becoming a bigger problem as America’s population grows older, with losses believed to be in the billions of dollars.

The suspects in this case face up to 20 years in prison and substantial fines if convicted.

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