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Four suspects operating in Dubuque area charged with fraud for targeting the elderly

CEDAR RAPIDS – Four people are behind bars after federal prosecutors says they targeted elderly persons around the country using a phone scam.

Carlos Rodriguez, Michael Marcov, Stephanie Marcov, and Cody Richey, all from Dubuque or surrounding areas, have been charged with wire fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering. The charges are contained in a Complaint unsealed yesterday in United States District Court in Cedar Rapids.

The Complaint alleges that, from January through September 2016, the four defendants participated in a scheme to defraud people throughout the country and that the scheme was primarily targeted at the elderly. The Complaint alleges that the participants in the fraud would call a person on the phone and tell that person that a relative was in jail. The caller would then ask the victim to wire money via Western Union or Money Gram as bail money to get the relative released. The Complaint alleges that, in fact, the money was being wired to various participants in the fraud who would pick up the wire transfers and then send the money overseas.

If convicted, each of the four defendants faces a possible maximum sentence of 45 years’ imprisonment, a $750,000 fine, $300 in special assessments, and a term of supervised release following any imprisonment.­

Rodriguez, Michael Marcov, and Stephanie Marcov appeared yesterday in federal court in Cedar Rapids. Rodriguez and Michael Marcov are being held without bond. Stephanie Marcov was released on conditions of release. The next court hearing in the case is set for 9:30 a.m. on January 17, 2017 for a detention and preliminary hearing.

As with any criminal case, a charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The prosecution is part of the Elder Justice Initiative of the Department of Justice.

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