Georgia Man Sentenced to 71 Months for Defrauding Elderly Relative of $300,000
|U.S. Attorney’s Office August 30, 2013|
FAYETTEVILLE, AR—Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced today that Rodney Callaway, age 69, of Duluth, Georgia, was sentenced to 71 months in prison and three years of supervised release on ten counts of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud. He was also ordered to pay $228,582 in restitution. United States District Court Judge Jimm Larry Hendren presided over the sentencing in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
United States Attorney Eldridge commented, “It is despicable that someone would take advantage of an elderly relative—who depended upon that money for their medical care—in a fraudulent scheme to benefit themselves. With the hard work of the FBI and this office, this individual has been held accountable, and a statement has been made that this conduct is unacceptable.”
“Mr. Callaway’s conduct in this case represents greed at its worst, as he victimized a trusted family member who was in a vulnerable time due to legitimate family health issues,” stated FBI Special Agent in Charge Randall C. Coleman. “I commend the prosecutors and case agents who brought him to justice.”
According to the evidence at trial, Callaway was contacted in June 2005 by his first cousin for investment advice. The cousin was acting on behalf of her sister who had suffered a stroke and needed someone to take care of her affairs. Callaway claimed that he was a trustee for Environmental Protection of Asia Foundation Inc. (EPAFI) and that he could safely invest the money with EPAFI on very favorable terms. Relying on this advice, Callaway’s cousin provided Callaway with $300,000, which was needed to take care of her sister’s medical and other needs. Instead of investing the money as promised, Callaway converted the money to his own use and then made repeated false representations to his cousin to conceal his fraudulent conduct.
Callaway was charged in an 11-count superseding indictment handed down by a federal grand jury on October 10, 2012. He was found guilty in a jury trial on all 11 counts on February 1, 2013.
This case was investigated by FBI Special Agent David Blakely, with the assistance of the Arkansas Securities Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Kenneth Elser and Allison Bragg prosecuted the case for the United States.