By Alexa Epitropoulos | [email protected]
A man who defrauded elderly victims, including an Alexandria resident and several other Virginia residents, out of $500,000 pleaded guilty to the conspiracy Monday, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Virginia.
Raheem Oliver, 38, of Arizona, operated a magazine subscription renewal fraud scam that involved him or one of his associates contacting magazine subscribers and offering to renew their subscriptions over the phone. When the subscriber agreed, Oliver would charge their accounts two or three times without renewing their subscriptions.
Oliver, in particular, targeted victims he judged to be most vulnerable with threatening phone calls and falsely told many of them that they needed to pay thousands of dollars at a time for the alleged renewal fees, past-due balances, fines, attorneys’ fees, legal fees and other costs. He also threatened victims with legal action or arrest if they did not make payments as requested. He would often convince victims to mail checks or wire money to him or his associates in Arizona.
The conspiracy victimized 250 individuals, including a 94-year-old resident of Alexandria.
Oliver pleaded guilty to counts of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. For these crimes, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on June 22.