Man sentenced in "granny ripping" scheme
It is known as "granny ripping," or "getting granny" -- targeting elderly homeowners and scamming them into paying for unnecessary home repairs or utility work that is never done at all.
Now, the final of three defendants have been sentenced in U.S. District Court in Alexandria for participating in such a scheme. Donald Ray Norcross, 26, of Culpeper, on Friday received a 27-month prison term for defrauding the homeowners of tens of thousands of dollars through bogus repairs and services. He was ordered to pay $27,100 in restitution.
“Robbing vulnerable seniors is a shameful crime that can’t be tolerated,” said U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride, who added that the investigation, which is continuing, is one of many in which prosecutors are seeking “to ensure that the elderly in our communities are protected from this despicable kind of fraud.”
Prosecutors said the scam targeted mainly homeowners in Northern Virginia but also Maryland. Conspirators would trick the victims into paying thousands of dollars multiple times for the same work, issuing replacement checks for checks that had been “lost” and writing checks in the names of people who had done no work, prosecutors said.
In one instance, court documents said, a victim identified only as G.D. last year wrote out $8,500 in checks for work repairing supposed water damage — when there was no such damage — and to replace a sewer water pump. The work was never done, court documents said.
G.D., of Vienna, was 86 years old.
Washington Post editors
February 26, 2010; 11:58 AM ET
Categories: From the Courthouse , Jerry Markon
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