A Dubuque area man who participated in a fraud that victimized more than 250 elderly victims across the United States was sentenced today to nearly five years in prison.
Evidence at the sentencing hearing and prior court hearings in related cases showed that Cody Richey, age 27, from Zwingle, Iowa, was involved in a scheme to defraud victims, who were generally elderly, around the country. In a plea agreement, Richey admitted that while he never made calls to victims, other individuals involved in the scheme called victims on the phone and told these victims that a relative was in jail. The caller would then ask the victims to wire money via Western Union or Money Gram to get the relative released. Richey further admitted that the money was being wired to various participants in the fraud who would pick up the wire transfers. He admitted that he received wire transfers from the victims and sent money received from victims overseas. The scheme victimized more than 250 victims across the country. These victims lost more than $750,000 as a result of the fraud. Ten other people have been sentenced in federal court for their roles in the fraud.
Richey was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge Linda R. Reade. Richey was sentenced to 57 months’ imprisonment. He was ordered to pay more than $26,000 in restitution. He must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.
The prosecution is part of the Elder Justice Initiative of the Department of Justice. In June 2016, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa was selected as one of 10 districts in the nation to form an Elder Justice Task Force (http://go.usa.gov/cSngj). The task force was assembled to foster a collaborative working relationship among all levels of government officials, advocacy groups for the elderly and the disabled, and others charged with the care and protection for these vulnerable groups. The goals include ensuring the integrity of all government expenditures by eliminating fraud, waste, and abuse in health programs, and protecting some of the state’s most vulnerable citizens from harm, whether it occurs in nursing homes or other institutions or involves financial fraud schemes. To learn more about the Department of Justice’s Elder Justice Initiative, visit: https://www.justice.gov/elderjustice/.
Richey is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anthony Morfitt and investigated by the Department of Homeland Security – Investigations and the Dubuque Police Department.
Court file information at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.
The case file numbers are 17-CR-1004 and 17-CR-1038.