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Consumer Alert: Investment scam targets elderly

A story that proves the age-old adage-some people just aren't who they appear to be. This is the story of deception led to millions of dollars lost and dozens of lives ruined.

"He is a very likable person; he is Christian, a big church-goer, very active in the church and the entire time he was scamming all of us," said Earlene Dean the fraud victim.

The scam--invest in the cattle market in Honduras, Earlene Dean was told, and she'd get rich.
What she didn't know, she was being lured into a ponzi scheme.

"We invested pretty much everything we had with him," said Dean.

Which came to more than $100,000 dollars. Earlene's sister invested too and she lost even more.

"My parents lost all of their saving, dollar amount is roughly $480,000 I think. My parents did receive a couple of checks which were "interest" checks a relatively small amount which I felt was his way of keeping them happy," said Wanda Thompson, Daughter of Fraud Victims.

"He targeted these elderly people, not to give them 15-20% on their money; it was to put money in his pocket," said Sonya Ofchus, US Postal Inspector.

US Postal inspectors say there were more than 40 victims and $2 million dollars in losses.

"He was able to do this, by being in the community, living in the community, earning their trust by going to their home, then in their church," said Ofchus.

"I've learned from this experience not to trust anyone even if you think you know him … as far investing any money. Keep it in the bank, where it is safe," said Dean.


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