PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A Pennsylvania woman was charged with fraud after her alleged leadership in the “Grandparents Scheme.”
Yahaira Diaz, 33, from Pottsville, allegedly participated in the “Grandparents Scheme” by calling older people and posing as a grandchild or an attorney representing the grandchild.
The callers would then ask the older victims for money.
The U.S. attorney’s office said one popular scheme involved a caller claiming that the grandchild was in an accident.
After that, the caller would reportedly say the situation was growing increasingly worse.
An accident would turn into a DUI, the DUI would turn into vehicular manslaughter, the vehicular manslaughter killed a pregnant woman and her unborn child, and because of all these charges, legal fees were mounting.
The caller would ask the grandparent to send thousands of dollars to help.
The attorney’s office said that the schemers would keep calling, demanding more and more money each time until the victim realized they were being defrauded.
Diaz was said to play a leadership role in this scheme, operating with her co-schemers out of Allentown and Bethlehem.
The attorney’s office said that Diaz scammed at least 10 individuals out of $158,800 and tried to get an additional $69,000.
Diaz is being charged with aggravated identity theft, mail fraud and access device theft.
If Diaz is convicted, she could face up to 72 years in prison, including a mandatory two year term.