Morgan County woman pleads guilty in nationwide mail fraud investigation
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A Morgan County woman has been charged, along with more than 250 other suspects, in a large nationwide fraud scheme targeting the elderly, the US Justice Department says.
Sherry Gore entered a guilty plea Wednesday for the charge against her: conspiracy to use a fictitious name of the purpose. The guilty plea was part of a plea deal that Gore reportedly took.
Authorities believe Gore conspired with others across the country and Canada to send fake direct-mailers targeting the elderly as part of a fraud scheme.
They said the scheme gave victims the impression they were sent individualized letters from world-renowned psychics.
The letters allegedly stated that the psychics had visions and each victim was promised the opportunity to achieve great wealth and happiness with assistance from the psychic.
Authorities said the letter urged the victims to purchase various supernatural objects or personalized astrological services to achieve the predicted wealth.
According to court documents, after the direct-mailers were sent, Gore specifically sent collection letters to recipients of the mailers. It stated that she allegedly threatened the victims in the letters with escalating consequences, including the initiation of legal proceedings,
They believe Gore took part in the scheme from at least Dec. 2002 to Nov. 2014 in Morgan County and elsewhere.
Authorities believed at one point, she mailed a letter from the Southern District of Indiana purporting to be a fake person with the title of director of legal services.
Gore is facing a maximum sentence of five years in prison and three years of supervised probation following her release. She could also face up to a $250,000 fine. The court is ordering that restitution be paid back in the full amount of each victim’s losses.
If Gore is unable to pay any financial component on the date of sentencing, then she will agree that the payment of the financial component should be a condition of her supervised release.
Authorities said as part of the plea agreement, Gore is required to cooperate with the government. The agreement extends beyond the Southern District of Indiana into any other judicial district.
The US Justice Dept. says the cases include criminal, civil and forfeiture actions across more than 50 federal districts. Of the defendants, 200 were charged criminally.
“The Justice Department and its partners are taking unprecedented, coordinated action to protect elderly Americans from financial threats, both foreign and domestic,” said Attorney General Sessions.
A sentencing date for Gore is not available yet.