PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia jury has found two men guilty of swindling thousands of dollars from an elderly victim through a hoax often called the “Grandparent Scam.”
The case began following a complaint from the victim, who was scammed after receiving a call indicating his grandson needed bail money for a drunken driving arrest.
The scammers contacted the victim, a 79-year old California man, and convinced him that he needed to send money to free his grandson from custody. The man was scammed out of $16,600.
Spencer Compas, 31, and Witson Lavilette, 40, both natives of Haiti, took part in a nationwide fraud ring targeting elderly victims across the United States.
The two men were each found guilty of felony counts of criminal attempt to commit theft by deception, criminal conspiracy, and theft by deception. Sentencing is scheduled for June 1.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro says, “Our agents cooperated with law enforcement agencies from Philadelphia to Kansas to California in building this case.”
He added, “That kind of law enforcement collaboration gets scam artists off our streets and protects victims.”