Brooklyn woman goes to prison for scamming elderly out of over $750,000
Lorindo Powell used the money to buy fancy shoes
A Brooklyn federal court judge threw an admitted fraudster in prison for 51 months for defrauding the elderly, including a couple suffering from dementia, in a lottery and sweepstakes scam in order to make lavish purchases.
Lorindo Powell pleaded guilty in May for cooking up a 10-year conspiracy that caused five elderly people in Brooklyn, Florida, New Jersey and Maryland to wire her $770,632.50 in a purported opportunity to claim lottery winnings by paying bogus taxes or turning over financial information.
“Powell has now been held to account for targeting vulnerable victims, gaining their trust and stealing their savings,” said U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue. “Elder fraud enforcement is a Department of Justice priority, and this Office will continue to investigate and prosecute criminals who prey on senior citizens.”
Powell, 30, and her co-defendant Tavoy Malcolm started their scheme in 2009 when they contacted a 79-year-old Brooklyn teacher and lied to her about winning the lottery. Over time, Powell gained the trust of the elderly woman, took control of her retirement account, changed her email address and impersonated her in order to make withdrawals.
The elderly woman lost at least $589,000 and was evicted from her home in 2011 for defaulting on her mortgage payments, prosecutors said.
The thieves moved on in 2011 to an elderly Maryland couple, who suffered from dementia, to wire Powell $119,476.50, prosecutors said.
In October 2016, the couple duped an 89-year-old Florida man into sending $23,000.
Between December 2016 and April 2017, Powell posed as a bank representative from Citibank to steal over $38,000 from a New Jersey woman in her 90s, who lived in a retirement home, by making withdrawals from her checking account. On Valentine’s Day 2017, Powell used the woman’s credit card to phone in to Barney’s to buy $10,000 worth of Christian Louboutin, crocodile leather sneaker and blue suede shoes, prosecutors said. Powell also directed the woman to deposit $2,800 into her Capital One account in connection to purchasing a new home, prosecutors said.
“Elder fraud is of serious concern and law enforcement will continue to investigate arrest and prosecute those who choose to take advantage of our aging population rather than take care of them,” said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent-in-Charge Angel Melendez.
Malcolm, 27, pleaded guilty in August 2017 and is awaiting sentencing.
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