Elderly deaf scammed woman over $ 1.2 million including York County couple
A jury in Harrisburg federal court convicted a Midwestern woman of scamming deaf and elderly people across the country and elsewhere for about $ 1.2 million, federal officials said.
The victims include an elderly couple in Hanover, York County, said Dawn Clark, spokesperson for the United States Attorney’s Office in the Central District of Pennsylvania.
The couple sent Donna L. Summerlin a total of about $ 500,000, depleting their savings, Clark’s press release says.
A sentencing date has yet to be set for Summerlin, 62, but a presentation conference is scheduled for Oct. 19, according to Federal Court records.
The Fortville, Indiana woman has been convicted of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, as well as conspiracy to launder money instruments, court records show.
Summerlin – who herself is hearing impaired – has acted as a “money mule” for an international early-fee mass marketing program designed to defraud people, her federal indictment says.
About the diet: In prepayment systems, crooks tell targets that they’ve won a lottery or raffle, or some other kind of prize, but have to pay taxes, costs, and fees before they get to them. communicated, according to the indictment.
The “winners” are responsible for sending these payments in cash, check, money order or wire transfer, the indictment says.
Summerlin received funds from at least 120 scam victims, then sent that money to co-conspirators in Nigeria and Britain, according to federal officials, who said she also used the large amounts of that money.
In addition to victims in the United States, Summerlin has scammed people in Canada and Australia, Clark said.
Between 2012 and 2016, more than 50,000 Americans sent money to crooks in Nigeria and the UK, according to the indictment.
Victims targeted by Summerlin via Facebook, email and text messages were either told they had won a “deaf lottery” or had been chosen to receive a special government grant or access a special program, according to Clark.
I went back for more: After getting the initial payments from the victims, the crooks would try to squeeze extra money from them and sometimes were successful, Clark said in a press release.
None of the victims received any money or prizes, according to the indictment.
The crooks also took control of some of the victims’ social media accounts in order to lure those people’s friends into the scheme as well, Clark said.
After a week-long trial, jurors took only about an hour on Wednesday to convict Summerlin of the felony charges against her, according to Clark.
Charges carry a maximum sentence of up to 20 years, but that’s not necessarily an accurate indicator of how much jail time Summerlin will end up receiving, Clark said, as sentencing judges must weigh a number of factors.
– Contact Senior Criminal Journalist Liz Evans Scolforo at [email protected] or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.