While the women claimed it was porch piracy, a spur-of-the-moment temptation, detectives say they eventually uncovered something much worse: a nationwide criminal conspiracy.
Prosecutors say the two Georgians and three other people were traveling the country to run what’s known as the Grandparent Scam. Posing as attorneys, police officers or other officials, the group would phone elderly people and tell them that a relative was in trouble and needed cash. Victims sent thousands of dollars, some pulling out life savings, according to court documents.
Such scams surged during the pandemic. Last year, more than 25,000 such imposter scams targeting seniors were reported, according to the Federal Trade Commission. That’s a record, and about 5,000 more than were reported in 2019.
Now, the five people are facing federal criminal charges including mail fraud and money laundering. Accused are Jennifer Glemeau, 28, of Marietta, and Princess Elizer, 30, of Dallas, Georgia. They could not be reached for comment, and court records don’t indicate if they yet have legal representation. According to court documents, the two told police they were real estate investors and had been in Indianapolis looking for properties to buy.
Also charged are Darlens Renard, 31, of North Lauderdale, Fla.,; Jasaun Pope, 30, of Valley Stream, NY., and Kareem Brown, 30, of North Baldwin, NY.
All five had lived in the Nassau County area of New York, public records show.