HOMER CITY (KDKA) – Two people are facing charges after being accused of extorting thousands of dollars from a 92-year-old man over the course of several months.
According to police, one of the suspects pretended to be an undercover police officer to pull off the scam.
The elderly victim met the female suspect at church about five years ago and tried to help her financially.
It was that generosity, which led her to take advantage of him.
Jacquelynn Forsythe, 31, and Christopher Dobies, 27, were staying with the elderly victim at his house on Route 119 in Homer City.
“He’s reported to be 92-years-old, World War II vet and apparently a really good gentleman,” Trooper Mark McMahan said.
Being a good gentleman appears to be what got the victim in trouble.
Police said the suspects were desperate for money to repay a drug debt. As a result, they came up with an elaborate scheme to get at least $7,000 from the victim.
“It seems they developed a plan in which they posed as possibly undercover State Police officers, tricked him into believing he had committed crimes and then they took him to different locations in which he paid these alleged fines to other undercover troopers, which is never the case,” Trooper McMahan said.
The suspects had the victim drive them to the K-Mart in White Township and later told him he was suspected of being the getaway driver in a robbery.
They then made him believe that he needed to pay fines to them, which they would then give to police on his behalf.
This continued until an Indiana County Aging Services agent realized the elderly victim was being scammed.
“This guy served his country and was taken advantage of because he has a good heart,” Trooper McMahan said.
Police said the victim was so shaken by the incident that he didn’t believe the real police were actually State Troopers when they came to his house.
The suspects are both being held in the Indiana County Jail and are unable to post bond.