Jersey man admits to mass-mailing elder fraud scheme

Matthew Fazelpoor//March 20, 2023

Jersey man admits to mass-mailing elder fraud scheme

Matthew Fazelpoor//March 20, 2023

A New Jersey man pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York to conspiracy to commit mail fraud as part of a mass-mailing scheme that preyed on older Americans.

According to a March 16 press release and court documents from the U.S. Department of Justice, Ryan Young, of Upper Saddle River, operated a mail fraud scheme where he sent out letters falsely notifying people that they were eligible to collect unclaimed funds worth millions of dollars as part of a multimillion-dollar legal settlement, or a prize, in exchange for payment of a small fee between $30 and $40.

Young did not deliver any funds to the victims who sent payment.

Instead, he sent a booklet providing publicly available information regarding government Unclaimed Property Divisions, as well as a booklet providing publicly available information regarding a few class action settlements, or a flyer regarding online restaurant coupons.

Between March 2019 and May 2022, Young fraudulently obtained more than $1.6 million from victims of the scheme, according to court documents, which further allege that he was operating the scheme while on pretrial release awaiting sentencing in a separate case where he admitted to operating a similar fraud scheme that bilked victims out of $50 million between 2011 and 2016.

“The defendant in this case operated multiple fraud schemes, collectively depriving vulnerable Americans out of more than $50 million,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, in a statement. “The Justice Department and its federal law enforcement partners are committed to investigating and prosecuting those who target vulnerable American consumers for financial gain.”

Chris Nielsen, inspector in charge of United States postal inspection service’s (USPIS) Philadelphia Division, said that mass marketing scams frequently target elderly or vulnerable citizens.

“Fraudsters may think they can anonymously siphon money from their victims but today’s guilty plea tells a different story,” said Nielsen in the DOJ press release announcing the plea. “Through the efforts of Postal Inspectors in Newark, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C.; DOJ prosecutors; and the Fort Lee, New Jersey Police Department, we have successfully unraveled a complex mail fraud operation.”

Young faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on July 19.