CAMDEN, N.J. – An Atlantic City woman today admitted engaging in a fraudulent scheme through which she defrauded elderly victims of over $100,000, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.
Victoria Crosby, 46, of Atlantic City, New Jersey, pleaded guilty on Nov. 16, 2023, before U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler in Camden federal court to an information charging her with wire fraud.
According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court:
Crosby used a prepaid cellular phone to contact victims whose spouses or family members recently died. Many of the victims were over the age of 70 and their spouses had recently passed away. Crosby used fictitious names and purported to be employees of either a retirement benefit office and/or a life insurance company. Victims were told that life insurance policies, obtained by their deceased family member and for which they were the beneficiary, were in arrears and that in order to correct the underpayment, victims needed to pay thousands of dollars in arrearages. Victims were instructed to purchase prepaid cards at various retailers and provide the caller with the 10-digit codes on the back. The money was loaded on the prepaid cards at the time of purchase, which are linked to an online account so the owner of the cards can manage their account. Once Crosby had the 10-digit number, she took over the account and transferred the money from the prepaid card account to her own accounts. Crosby withdrew victim funds from various ATMs in Atlantic City, Brigantine and Absecon, New Jersey.
Crosby also admitted that at the time that Crosby was involved in the fraud scheme, she was receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits from the Social Security Administration and Medicaid Benefits. Crosby was also living in public housing in Atlantic City and receiving housing assistance through HUD’s Public and Indian Housing Program.
Between January 2020 and December 2020, Crosby received $110,380 into her bank account. Had SSA or HUD been aware of her income, Crosby would have been ineligible for SSI, Medicaid or HUD benefits.
The wire fraud count carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greatest. Sentencing is scheduled for March 28, 2024.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited criminal investigators of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Thomas Mahoney; special agents of the FBI Newark Atlantic City Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy in Newark; special agents of the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General, New York Field Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Sharon MacDermott; special agents of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Inspector General, under the direction of Christina D. Scaringi in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked the Maryland Office of the Attorney General for its assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason M. Richardson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Camden.