Colorado Inmate Indicted for Defrauding Elderly Victim
|U.S. Attorney’s Office June 24, 2013|
DENVER—Akihiko Siegfried, age 54, formerly of Denver, Colorado, was indicted last week by a federal grand jury in Denver for mail fraud and money laundering, the Justice Department announced. At the time of Siegfried’s indictment, he was in the custody of Colorado Department Corrections, where he remains today. At some point, he will be transferred to the United States Marshals, where he will be advised of the charges filed against him.
According to the indictment, beginning in or about early 2008 and continuing until in or about April 2013, Siegfried devised a scheme to defraud an elderly victim. In early 2008, Siegfried knocked on the door of the victim’s residence and when the door opened, Siegfried pretended to be distraught and was crying. Siegfried falsely told the victim that Siegfried’s parents had just died in a car crash and that he had no money and no family to turn to for help. Siegfried asked to borrow money.
Siegfried borrowed from the victim several times in the middle of 2008 and falsely told the victim he would inherit substantial money as a result of his parents’ death but that it would be tied up in probate for some time and he needed money for paying the associated fees and taxes. From early 2008 through April 2013, Siegfried pretended to have great affection for the victim, repeatedly telling him, “I love you.”
From March 2009 through March 2013, Siegfried frequently spent time as an inmate in the Colorado Department of Corrections. When he was in jail during that timeframe, he repeatedly called and sent letters through the mail repeatedly asking for money, directing the victim to deposit and wire transfer money to Siegfried’s inmate account with the Colorado Department of Corrections. Siegfried told the victim he needed the money because he was required to pay for his diabetes medicine while he was in jail and because he needed to pay more probate fees and taxes for his purported inheritance.
In October 2012, when Siegfried was released from prison, he received a check payable to himself in the amount of $49,655.30 from the State of Colorado, Department of Corrections. At least $10,000 of this money was proceeds of the fraud scheme involving the elderly victim.
Siegfried was charged with 17 counts of mail fraud and one count of money laundering. Mail fraud carries a penalty of not more than 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000 per count. Money laundering carries a penalty of not more than 10 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000 per count.
This case was investigated by agents with IRS Criminal Investigation, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Colorado Department of Correction. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Pegeen Rhyne. AUSA James Russell is handling the asset forfeiture.
The charges contained in the indictment are allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.