Florida man pleads guilty to scamming seniors by pretending to be a Jefferson Co. Sheriff
The investigation by the Kentucky Attorney General's office into two cases targeting senior citizens.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Florida man pleads guilty to scamming seniors and stealing thousands of dollars by pretending to be a Jefferson County Sheriff's Office employee.
Authorities caught 28-year-old Lemere Townsend of Orlando after a lengthy investigation and Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear calls his scams "the worst of the worst."
By pleading guilty, Townsend admitted to defrauding two Louisville seniors and stealing almost $10,000.
In one case, authorities say Townsend posed as an employee of the Jefferson County Sheriff's office and threatened to subpoena a local resident for credit card fraud. They fell for the scam and deposited $4,989 into Townsend's bank account.
"Jefferson County Sheriff's Office employees will not call you and ask you for money, we will not do that," Col. John Aubrey said.
Through that investigation authorities also discovered Townsend scammed a second Louisville resident out of nearly $5,000 by pretending to work for Westgate Resorts.
"To these folks $5,000 may be the difference between the retirement they planned for, aging with dignity, and having to struggle," Beshear said.
Townsend pleaded guilty in Jefferson Circuit Court to two counts of theft by deception and was ordered to repay the two victims. He will be on probation for 5 years or until full restitution is paid. He was prosecuted by Commonwealth's Attorney Tom Wine's office.
"They're getting bolder," Wine said, when discussing con artists hitting in our area.
Formal sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 30 in Jefferson Circuit Court at 9 a.m.
The Kentucky AG's office had warned of this scam earlier this year. And Beshear reminds Kentucky residents that the Office of Senior Protection and Mediation has Scam Alerts that are sent by text or email, when scams are reported in the state.
Anyone interested in receiving the alerts can text the words KYOAG Scam to GOV311 (468311). Individuals can visit ag.ky.gov/scams to sign up with your mobile phone number or email address.
Beshear also recommends to hang up scam calls immediately and report them to your local authorities. The sooner you alert investigators, the quicker they can catch scammers and warn others.
"You need to report these scams because sometimes we can track these people down," Beshear said.
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