MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Four people have been indicted on 13 counts after authorities said they ran a wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering scheme targeting seniors.
Fabian Gray — also known as Mike Taylor — along with Avia Reid, Khalelah Powell and Romaine Gordon have been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. All four are from Myrtle Beach and are originally from Jamaica. At least two are without legal status in the United States, according to an announcement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, but it does not state which two.
Since June 2015, the four conspired to defraud victims by using telemarketing, according to the announcement. The four falsely told 100 people — most of them seniors — that they’d won large amounts of money, and then convinced them that they had to pay advance fees in order to receive the reward.
The four also sent information that claimed to be from a genuine sweepstakes company, financial institutions and federal agencies that talked about the rewards. After the victims’ money was received, the money was then wire transferred to people in Jamaica and elsewhere.
It’s estimated that at least $665,000 was taken in the scheme.
The four face a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. Because they targeted victims who are over the age of 55, they could face an extra 10 additional years behind bars for the first 12 counts in the indictment.