CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Three people have indicted in an alleged scheme that federal prosecutors say defrauded more than $60,000 from 18 senior citizens in West Virginia and elsewhere during a one week time period .
U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin says the 12-count indictment unsealed Monday charges Kacey K. Moise, 38, of Elmont, N.Y., Charnita E. Ryland, 21, of Montgomery, Md., and Sheray J. McKay, 21, of Suitland, Md. charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud.
According to the indictment, the alleged scheme took place between November 7, 2012, and November 13, 2012, and that the victims ranged in age from 70 to 95 years old.
Prosecutors say during this time, Moise, Ryland and McKay called numerous elderly people and asked for money under false pretenses. As part of the scheme, they posed as family members or clergymen of the elderly citizens, or lawyers for the so-called family members or clergymen, often falsely stated that they had been in car accidents, had been arrested for driving while intoxicated, and needed money to get out of jail, pay attorney’s fees, and make reimbursement for the damage allegedly caused by their accidents.
The callers then provided specific instructions to wire the requested funds – including how much to wire and where to send the wire transfers. In many instances, prosecutors say the elderly individuals made several wire transfers at the repeated requests of the callers – despite their limited funds.
Prosecutors say the three then picked up the funds from the wire transfers in Maryland and New York.
"Scams to steal from older West Virginians are downright shameful,” U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said. “Protecting our state’s senior citizens is one of my top priorities, and in 2014, we’re going to work harder than ever to catch criminals who cheat seniors.”
Ryland and McKay were arrested in Maryland last month, and are scheduled to be arraigned this week.
Moise was arrested in New York on Monday. He is scheduled to be arraigned later this month.
Each defendant faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.