DENVER, Colo. — Twenty-seven people are accused of participating in a crime ring that targeted an elderly woman’s finances.
A Denver Grand Jury indicted the 27 people in a case involving elder fraud, Denver District Attorney Beth McCann announced Tuesday. They face 56 total counts.
Two people — Ernest Hill, 53, and Davon Phillips, 27 — headed the alleged crime ring. They are accused of bringing a senior from her home in Las Vegas to live with them in Denver in the fall of 2017, according to the Denver District Attorney’s Office. They were not family members of the woman.
Phillips became her agent under a Power of Attorney, giving him the full power of her finances.
The two men posed as the woman’s grandsons and are now accused of financially exploiting her, according to the Denver District Attorney’s Office.
McCann called the case a “tangled tale of forgery, conspiracy, theft, theft from an at-risk person, and organized crime.”
The 27 defendants are accused of opening bank accounts with nominal sums at various banks and credit unions throughout the Denver metro area and immediately depositing fraudulent checks to artificially inflate the balances. They then either cashed the checks or withdrew money from ATMs.
Their goal, according to the district attorney’s office, was to extract as much money as possible from the bank or credit union before the checks bounced and accounts were closed.
Many of the checks came from accounts that were opened under the name of the elderly woman.
By the time the suspects were caught, they had stolen $40,000 from the financial institutions.
Among other things, they allegedly used the proceeds to make Playstation Network charges. McCann said these purchases were clearly not made by the elderly woman, who was in declining health and had poor eyesight.
Aside from Hill and Phillips, the 25 other defendants are:
- Kevin Boswell, 29
- Tyrell Homes, 24
- Kevin Gladney, 24
- Vincent Hood, 20
- Tajshawnne Tate, 22
- Kaitlin Holt, 23
- Mykecia Haqq-Anderson, 24
- Ledezhane Tyler, 23
- Dejana Lollis, 46
- Alawn Smith, 22
- Jalil Jackson, 27
- Elizabeth Broughton, 22
- Kiana Mascarenas, 22
- Gregory Ashley, 28
- Aalyah Austin, 22
- Adontae Thompson, 20
- Ghaisha Hood, 20
- Oriana Clifford-Johnson, 24
- Morrail Bell, 24
- Xavier Smith, 46
- Travis Draper, 29
- Dorian Phillips, 24
- Onjanique Williams, 21
- Kanesha Roland, 25
- Jaylon Jones, 22
They will be arraigned on different days. They have not all been arrested as of Tuesday morning. Hill, one of the two men accused of heading the crime ring, is not in custody, according to the district attorney’s office.
The charges include:
- One count of violation of the Colorado Crime Control Act
- One count of conspiracy to commit theft
- 35 counts of forgery
- Six counts of theft
- Three counts of theft
- Five counts of identity theft
- Two counts of criminal impersonation
- Two counts of theft of an at-risk person
- One count of theft of an at-risk person
The elderly woman has passed away since the investigation began.