Three Indicted for Running “Grandparent Scheme” that Defrauded Elderly Victims in Western PA

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PITTSBURGH, PA – Two residents of Las Vegas, NV and one resident of Reseda, CA, have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh, PA on a charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.

The one-count Indictment named Roderick Feurtado, 54, of Las Vegas, NV 89166, Tarek Bouanane, 45, Las Vegas, NV 89139, and Roberto Gutierrez, 49, of Reseda, CA 91335, as defendants.

According to Indictment, in September 2021, the defendants traveled to the Pittsburgh area to execute a scheme to defraud that targeted elderly victims. To execute the scheme, members of the conspiracy called the victims, posed as an attorney, and falsely represented that one of the victim’s relatives, typically a grandchild, had been incarcerated and needed money for bail and legal fees. With assistance from Feurtado and other members of the conspiracy, Bouanane and Gutierrez then posed as couriers or bail bondsman, visited the victims at their homes, and collected the fraudulently obtained money. At least $250,000 was obtained in the Western District of Pennsylvania and elsewhere as a result of the conspiracy.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendants.

Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey R. Bengel is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Department of Homeland Security Investigations and Pennsylvania State Police conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 

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