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Man sentenced to federal prison in 'grandparent scam'

The calls usually said a grandchild or other family member had an urgent medical or legal problem and needed money immediately.
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INDIANAPOLIS — A New York man was sentenced to eight years in federal prison for mail fraud and money laundering connected to a nationwide "grandparent scheme."

Jasaun Pope, also known as “Biz," 31, along with alleged co-conspirators Darlens Renard, Princess Elizer, Jennifer Glemeau, and Kareem Brown, targeted and exploited the elderly. 

Between April 2020 and January 2021, the group is accused of convincing elderly Americans around the country to pay tens of thousands of dollars to help their grandchild or other close family relative in a scam known as a “grandparent scam.”

The calls usually said a grandchild or other family member had an urgent medical or legal problem and needed money immediately. They would then say an overnight delivery of $5,000 to $15,000 was needed. The scammers used addresses of vacant homes around the country to try to keep from getting caught.

More than 68 victims have been identified so far, and they are believed to have sent the scammers more than $680,000.

“These sophisticated criminal organizations exploit the elderly by preying on the love and commitment they have for their families,” said United States Attorney Zachary A. Myers. “These heinous frauds wreak immeasurable financial and emotional harm on victims to satisfy the greed of networks of criminals. Our office will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute scammers who seek to take advantage of vulnerable members of our community.”

As part of Pope's sentence, he would need to pay $554,574 in restitution to the victims.

The Justice Department has established a National Elder Fraud Hotline to provide services to seniors who may be victims of financial fraud at 1-833-FRAUD-11 (1-833-372-8311).

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