LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Two Las Vegas men were convicted Friday by a Pennsylvania jury on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, posing as distressed grandchildren in phone calls to get money from the victims.
Roderick Feurtado, 56, and Tarek Boanane, 47, traveled to the Pittsburgh area in September 2021 and defrauded elderly victims out of at least $250,000 with their scheme, according to U.S. Attorney Eric G. Olshan.
“Feurtado and Bouanane represent the worst that society has to offer,” Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge William S. Walker said. “They prey upon the love and concern that our amazing senior citizens have for their families.”
They contacted victims and claimed that a family member, usually a grandchild, had been detained in connection with a legal proceeding and needed money for bail. The victims were directed to withdraw cash and provide it to a courier who would come to their homes. Bouanane acted as one of these couriers while Feurtado acted as the “safehouse,” who gave directions to the couriers and collected the money that had been obtained from the victims.
The defendants kept a portion of the money, and they had plans to pass along the rest to others, including by converting it to cryptocurrency.
Pennsylvania State Police seized about $220,000 from the defendants, who were responsible for at least $250,000 in total victim losses in the Western District of Pennsylvania and elsewhere as a result of the conspiracy.
The law provides for a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeffrey R. Bengel and Michael R. Ball prosecuted this case. The Department of Homeland Security Investigations, Pennsylvania State Police, and Bethel Park Police Department conducted the investigation leading to the convictions in this case.