Shreveport woman sentenced in $4.85 million elder fraud scheme
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, a Shreveport woman has been sentenced to federal prison for her role in an elder fraud scheme in east Texas.
Monica Ruiz, 45, pleaded guilty to wire fraud on March 24 and was sentenced to 97 months in prison on Tuesday, Sept. 14.
“Fraud against the elderly is particularly devastating given that the victim will typically not have the ability to work their way towards financial recovery,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei. “While the Department of Justice will work tirelessly to ferret out elder fraud and punish the perpetrator, our seniors’ best defense against such fraud is, and remains, education, vigilance, and a healthy dose of skepticism.”
The following is a list of misrepresentations Ruiz made in order to get money from the victim:
- That Ruiz had been in a coma;
- That Ruiz had brain surgery;
- That Ruiz was falsely arrested and imprisoned;
- That Ruiz had bribed a judge and prosecutor;
- That Ruiz’s son died in a car accident in Pennsylvania;
- That Ruiz was in a car accident;
- That Ruiz had a kidney transplant;
- That Ruiz’s daughter was committed to a mental institution;
- That Ruiz was incarcerated; and
- That Ruiz’s grandmother died.
Officials say Ruiz at times impersonated other people in communications with the victim. She also created and used fake personas in communications with the victim.
Over the course of the scheme, Ruiz obtained more than $4.85 million from the victim. She was indicted by a federal grand jury on Nov. 19, 2020.
If you or someone you know is age 60 or older and has been a victim of financial fraud, you can find help at the National Elder Fraud Hotline: 1-833-372-8311.
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