Attorney General William P. Barr and U.S. Attorney Bobby L. Christine on Thursday announced the largest coordinated sweep of elder fraud cases in history, surpassing last year’s nationwide sweep. The cases during this sweep involved more than 260 defendants from around the globe who allegedly victimized more than two million Americans, most of them elderly.
In the Southern District, a Liberty County woman has been federally charged with defrauding an elderly dementia patient in an effort to steal nearly half a million dollars.
Sailor Jones, 57, of Midway, is charged with wire fraud in United States District Court in Savannah, said Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. She faces up to 20 years in federal prison.
According to information filed in the case, Jones, who is not a licensed nurse, owned a company purporting to provide at-home health services that was not licensed with the state of Georgia. From about December 2016 to June 2017, Jones provided cleaning and other minor tasks for a now-90-year-old woman who lived at a Savannah retirement community that provided the dementia patient with 24-hour skilled nursing services.
During this period, according to court documents, Jones fraudulently gained access to the woman’s checking and retirement accounts by posing as the victim, taking more than $300,000 and depositing the funds in Jones’ own personal accounts.
“Sailor Jones exploited an elderly dementia patient to enrich herself,” said Christine. “Rather than serving this vulnerable woman’s needs, Jones instead fed her own greed. Our office and the Department of Justice will not tolerate fraud and abuse of our elder citizens, particularly those who have no choice but to trust others for their care.”
“The U.S. Secret Service has invested in identifying and investigating elder abuse and exploitation. Because eliminating this crime requires coordinated action, we work together with other federal, state and local agencies so that, together, we can build a more responsive network and give seniors the tools to avoid financial scams and elder abuse before it starts” stated Resident Agent in Charge Glen Kessler of the U.S. Secret Service Savannah Resident Office. “These senior citizens have earned the right to enjoy their retirement years with a sense of security."