Two men charged in a nationwide racketeering scheme targeting the elderly, which took more than $300,000 from 10 San Diego County residents, have pleaded guilty to federal charges, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Wednesday.
Over the past week, Jack Owuor of Paramount, 25, and Timothy Ingram of North Hollywood, 29, admitted to their roles in a scheme that took more than $2 million from over 70 senior citizens across the nation. Six others remain charged in the case, including two who are at large.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the defendants phoned senior citizens and falsely claimed their grandchildren were in legal trouble and needed money to resolve fabricated issues such as paying for bail, medical expenses or to prevent additional criminal charges from being filed against them.
Prosecutors say Ingram admitted to recruiting people to pick up money from the victims, while Owuor conducted cash pick-ups himself at Ingram’s direction and also recruited others to collect payments. Officials say the defendants then laundered the money they received either by transferring the funds or converting the money into cryptocurrency.
U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said those involved in the scheme “exploited the sacred bond between grandparent and grandchild and left many victims financially and emotionally traumatized.”
City News Service contributed to this article.