Jail for scammer who targeted the elderly and laundered funds with crypto

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A scammer who took part in a “heartbreakingly evil” scam that stole money from the elderly and used crypto to launder the funds has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison by a California court.

25-year-old Jack Owuor previously pleaded guilty on March 9 after being caught working with a group of scammers that conned more than $2 million from over 70 unsuspecting victims. He will serve 46 months behind bars.

As previously reported, the eight-strong collective would call up their elderly targets posing as a relative or close friend, and ask them to hand over money for a variety of ‘urgent’ reasons ranging from bail money to medical expenses.

On one occasion, Owuor was able to collect $33,000 from three separate victims in a single day. He would later hire women to carry out his pick-ups and act as his mules.

Once the money was pocketed the group laundered their profits using cryptocurrency in an attempt to cover their tracks. 

Read more: Crypto scammers target lonely Chinese speakers living abroad

As part of his plea, Owuor promised to pay $4,300 that he personally acquired from his crimes and $434,600 to the victims in restitution. The group’s organizer, Timothy Ingram however, will have to pay over $124,000 in proceeds and just under $2 million in restitution.

“Owuor and the criminal enterprise he was a part of preyed upon our elderly population, defrauding some of our most vulnerable and often most trusting citizens,” officials said in Wednesday’s filing (our emphasis). 

“Today’s sentence, including prison time, demonstrates the gravity of the defendant’s egregious behavior to steal from the elders of our community. It is despicable that these fraudsters preyed on a grandparent’s care and concern for their loved ones to line their own pockets.” 

The group was indicted by a San Diego jury on Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) charges in August. Six out of the eight members have been arrested so far and, as of this week, five have pleaded guilty. The six are due to be sentenced this year between August 1 and November 4 this year.

The last two members still at large are 30-year-old Tracy Adrine Knowles and Adonis Alexis Butler Wong.

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