The Department of Justice has charged more than 400 defendants responsible for more than $1 billion in losses this year in the largest coordinated sweep of elder fraud cases in history, Attorney General William Barr and Chief Postal Inspector Gary Barksdale announced today. That figure reflected a 54% increase in the number of individuals charged over last year.
Barr noted that the effort reflects a renewed focus on prosecuting elder fraud cases by the DOJ, which has expanded its enforcement efforts. “As we have worked closely with banks and other private sector partners in this effort, it has become clear that a substantial part of the fraud against elders is conducted by transnational criminal organizations,” he said. “For this reason, we have now expanded our enforcement efforts to have global reach.”
The DOJ also announced the creation of a new national hotline that will provide services to seniors that may be victims of financial exploitation. Victims will receive assistance with reporting suspected fraud to relevant agencies, and will receive resources and referrals to other appropriate services as needed. When applicable, case managers will complete a complaint form with the FBI’s IC3 and/or the Federal Trade Commission.