Las Vegas woman indicted on federal charges for defrauding elderly Harrison County victim out of almost $25k

Crime

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CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – A Nevada woman is facing fraud charges, after she defrauded nearly $25,000 from an elderly resident from Harrison County, Acting United States Attorney Randolph Bernard announced Tuesday.

Shelly Leipham, 65 of Las Vegas, was indicted on March 2, 2021 on three counts of “Wire Fraud,” five counts of “Mail Fraud,” and three counts of “Money Laundering.” Leipham is accused of calling an elderly victim living in Harrison County and claiming the victim won $1 million. Leipham is accused of defrauding the victim of nearly $25,000 by directing the victim to send that amount to her over the course of a two-year period by mail and wire.

“This case showcases just one of the many ways people prey on our elderly neighbors. Lottery scams aren’t new, and it’s most despicable when the perpetrator targets someone who is vulnerable. We encourage everyone to be vigilant and suspicious. If it sounds too good to be true, it’s most likely a scam,” said Bernard.

The government is also seeking a money judgement in the amount of $336,402.

Leipham is facing up to 20 years of in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for each of the wire fraud and mail fraud counts. She’s facing up to 20 years behind bars and a fine of up to $500,000 for each of the money laundering counts.

The Internal Revenue Service and the West Virginia State Police investigated the case, which is being prosecuted as a part of the Department of Justice Elder Fraud Initiative.

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