Federal prosecutors in Miami have charged a 41-year-old Georgia woman for her alleged involvement in an elder fraud scam that tricked over 250 elderly South Floridians into turning over their credit cards, debit cards, and related personal identification numbers (PINs).
Edtronda Simon of Fayette County, GA, was charged with fraud and identity theft. She made her first initial court appearance in Georgia on September 17, 2020. Subsequent proceedings will take place in federal court in West Palm Beach. Attorney information was not available.
According to the criminal complaint, Simon allegedly ran an elder fraud scheme that involved cold-calling seniors in South Florida, pretending to be an agent from the fraud department of their bank, and falsely convincing them that their accounts had been compromised. Once a victim was convinced, Simon would purportedly send over a “bank representative” to their home to exchange the compromised card with a new one.
Simon’s alleged co-conspirators would reportedly arrive at the victim’s home while she was still on the phone persuading them to verify their PIN number. The co-conspirators would take the victim’s credit or debit card and promise to return with a new one, but that never happened, the complaint claims. The co-conspirators would then use the card and PIN to purchase money orders, withdraw cash from ATMs, and otherwise drain the accounts as quickly as possible before real fraud representatives caught wind of the scheme.
The complaint claims Simon and her co-conspirators duped over 250 seniors from Broward, St. Lucie, Palm Beach, Indian River, and other counties in South Florida into turning over their credit or debit cards and PIN information. They altogether defrauded banks of over $1 million, according to the complaint.
Simon’s alleged co-conspirators were charged in a separate case filed earlier this year for their alleged involvement in the elder fraud scheme. They were identified as: Diedre Dixon, Samuel Charles, Saquille Robinson, Shaumbrica Stubbs, Ian Felder, and Luclesse Vernesse.
“Elder fraud targets some of the most vulnerable members of our community,” said U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan. “People who steal from seniors while pretending to help them are the worst kind of criminal because they exploit human trust. We will vigorously prosecute such cases in order to protect the integrity of our financial systems, and to prevent financial and emotional losses to those who can least afford them.”
Financial fraud targeting seniors is a common problem in America. According to the AARP, reports of suspicious financial activity involving senior citizens totaled $1.7 billion in 2017 alone. In 51 percent of the cases, strangers were identified as responsible for the alleged exploitation.
Florida has some of the strongest elder abuse laws in the nation, which is why anyone accused of committing fraud involving seniors should immediately consult a fraud attorney. A qualified fraud attorney will have the necessary skills and experience to handle the fraud charges filed against you.
South Florida Fraud Defense Attorney
Are you accused of committing financial crimes in South Florida? Contact Brian Silber, P.A. to set up a free initial consultation and work with one of South Florida’s most experienced fraud defense attorneys.