Also Hid Proceeds of Scheme from Social Security and Housing and Urban Development
CAMDEN, N.J. – An Atlantic City woman was charged for her role in fraudulently obtaining money from elderly victims and not advising the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) of the substantial amount of money she earned from the scheme, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced today.
Victoria Crosby, 44, is charged by complaint with one count of wire fraud, one count of concealing information affecting a continued right to payment by the SSA, one count of health care fraud and one count of making a false statement, representation or document to HUD. Crosby is scheduled to have her initial appearance by videoconference today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sharon A. King.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Crosby and others used prepaid cellular phones to contact victims whose spouses or other family members had recently died. Many of the victims were 70 or older. Crosby and others used fictitious names and purported to be employees of either a retirement benefit office or a life insurance company. They told the victims that life insurance policies, obtained by their deceased family member and for which they were the beneficiary, were in arrears and that to correct the underpayment, victims needed to pay thousands of dollars. Victims were instructed to purchase prepaid cards at various retailers and provide the caller with the 10-digit codes on the back. After obtaining the prepaid card information, Crosby and others loaded the money into accounts they controlled. According to video surveillance footage obtained by law enforcement officials, Crosby withdrew victim funds from various ATMs in New Jersey.
At the time that Crosby was involved in the fraud scheme, she was receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits from the SSA and Medicaid. 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 counts of wire fraud and health care fraud each carry a maximum of 20 years in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greatest. The count of concealing any event affecting continued right to payment by the SSA and making false statements to HUD each carry a maximum of five years in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greatest.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited criminal investigators of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, under the direction of Supervisory Special Agent in Charge Thomas Mahoney; special agents of the FBI Newark, Atlantic City Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr.; special agents of the SSA Office of the Inspector General, New York Field Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge John F. Grasso; and special agents of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Inspector General, New York Region, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Christina Scaringi, with the investigation leading to the charges. She also thanked the Maryland Office of the Attorney General for its assistance.
The government is represented by Senior Trial Counsel Jason M. Richardson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Camden.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.