CLEVELAND, OH - Acting US Attorney Bridget M. Brennan, of Northern District of Ohio US Attorney’s Office announced that two Florida men were charged in a scam targeting elders in the Northern District of Ohio, revealed in federal court July 27.
They are John Tyler Pla, 25, and Johnny Lee Palmer, 26, of Tampa, Florida. This charge stems from their roles in an online scam called “Grandparent Scam” that attacks elderly victims through scams, with a total combined loss of $383,932 in several Northern Ohio cities, including Brecksville, Parma, Gates Mills, Lorain, Mansfield, Fairview Park, Westlake, and Mentor.
After they pleaded guilty to committing wire fraud, John Tyler Pla and Johnny Lee Palmer were sentenced to 37 months and 33 months of imprisonment, respectively. Both perpetrator also has to pay fine to their victims for $383,932. The sentence was delivered by US Judge Pamela A. Barker.
According to the court documents, other collaborators are tasked to call the victims, pretending to be a close relative or an attorney for their "relatives" and claim that one of the victim's family members has been arrested and would require an amount of money for them to be released. Another member would arrange the meeting for gathering the money through a representative. These representatives are Pla. or Palmer themselves, that acted as the courier.
This investigation was conducted by the FBI of Cleveland Division and the Westlake Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney Brian McDonough.
If you need help regarding elderly crime, please contact National Elder Fraud Hotline at 1-833-FRAUD-11 (1-833-372-8311). The hotline is available seven days a week from 6a.m. to 11p.m. eastern time.
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