CEDAR RAPIDS – Five Dubuque-area people are facing federal charges after authorities caught them trying to scam elderly people all over the United States.
Carlos Rodriguez, Michael Marcov, Stephanie Marcov, and Cody Richey, all from Dubuque or surrounding areas, have been charged with wire fraud. The charges are contained in an Indictment filed this week in United States District Court in Cedar Rapids. Another individual, Shawn Vaassen, has been charged in a separate Information with wire fraud relating to the same scheme.
The Indictment and information allege that, from December 2015 through September 2016, the defendants participated in a scheme to defraud people throughout the United States and that the fraud was primarily targeted towards the elderly. The charges allege that 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 charges allege that the money was being wired to various participants in the fraud who would pick up the wire transfers and eventually the money would be sent overseas.
Rodriguez, Michael Marcov, and Vaassen are being held without bond. Stephanie Marcov remains released subject to conditions of release. Vaassen is scheduled to next appear in court on February 27, 2017, at 9:30 A.M. for a change of plea hearing. Rodriguez, Michael Marcov, and Stephanie Marcov will next appear in court for arraignment on February 9, 2017, at 2:00 P.M.
The prosecution is part of the Elder Justice Initiative of the Department of Justice.