Two women sentenced in San Diego for part in nationwide scam targeting elderly

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Two women who pleaded guilty to taking part in a nationwide racketeering scam targeting the elderly, which took more than $300,000 from at least 10 San Diego County residents, were sentenced Thursday in San Diego federal court.

Anajah Gifford, 24, of North Hollywood, and Tracy Glinton, 35, of Orlando, were sentenced Thursday for their roles in a scam that took over $2 million from more than 70 senior citizens across the nation. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says the crimes took place between November of 2019 and October of 2020.

Gifford received a prison sentence of nearly five years, while Glinton received a time served sentence. Other co-defendants have received prison sentences ranging from two to nine years.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the defendants phoned seniors and falsely claimed their grandchildren were in legal trouble and needed money to resolve fabricated issues such as paying for bail, medical expenses or to prevent additional criminal charges from being filed against them.

Prosecutors say the defendants conducted cash pickups from victims and also recruited and supervised “mules” to make similar collections. The money was then laundered either by transferring the funds or converting the money into cryptocurrency, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In Gifford’s plea agreement, she admitted to making cash pick-ups in person and recruiting mules in California. In addition to the prison sentence, Gifford was ordered to pay more than $1.2 million in restitution to the victims and forfeit $52,750 she received from the offense.

Glinton helped a co-defendant “receive proceeds from co-conspirators who obtained victim funds,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, who said Glinton was aware the money she received was taken from scam victims. She was ordered to pay $471,600 in victim restitution and forfeit $9,950 in proceeds she received.

Of the eight people charged in the scheme, six have pleaded guilty, while two remain at large.

“The defendants were members of a particularly sophisticated grandparent scam enterprise that callously and shamelessly targeted the elderly across our country,” said U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman. “Today’s sentencings hold the defendants accountable not only for the financial losses, but also the deep and long-lasting psychological damage their crimes can cause their victims.”

Categories: Local San Diego News