TYLER, Texas (KETK) — Two women who prosecutors say helped bilk about $4 million from the elderly each were sentenced Thursday to two years in prison by a federal judge in Tyler.
The sentencing by U.S. District Judge J. Campbell Barker follows guilty pleas by Pamela Sue Hannan, 68, of Sherman, and Pamela Sue Jennings, 69, of Houston, to being involved with foreign conspirators in an ongoing scheme.
For years, the women maintained bank accounts in the name of fake businesses that took money from mostly the elderly who had been tricked into thinking they were paying for legitimate services. Almost all the money ended up in the foreign bank accounts of the women’s co-conspirators, prosecutors said.
“Today’s sentences send a clear message that schemes targeting elderly victims will not be tolerated, and those facilitating such schemes will be held accountable,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei said in a news release. “By acting as domestic money transmitters for foreign co-conspirators, these defendants played fundamental roles that allowed foreign actors to reach from overseas to target elderly victims in communities across the United States.
Bringing others involved in the scheme to justice remains a priority, he said
Last year, the Eastern District of Texas announced it is working with law enforcement and private institutions, to identify and prosecute transnational elder fraud.
Those who believe a senior citizen is the target of fraud, are asked to call the National Elder Fraud Hotline: 1-833-FRAUD-11 (1-833-372-8311). This U.S. Department of Justice hotline is staffed by professionals.
The case is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and police departments in Sherman, Texas, and Appleton, Wisconsin. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathaniel C. Kummerfeld.
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