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Financial Crimes

Nebraska, Iowa women sentenced for conspiracy to commit wire fraud

LINCOLN, Neb. — A Nebraska woman and a western Iowa woman were sentenced in federal court Thursday for conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

These sentences resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Tempest Amerson, 24, of Lincoln, Nebraska, and Rosland Starks, 45, of Council Bluffs, Iowa, were sentenced by U.S. District Judge John M. Gerrard, for conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Amerson received a sentence of four months in prison, and Starks received a sentence of 20 months in prison for their roles in the conspiracy. After their release from prison, each will be required to serve a three-year term of supervised release and pay restitution in the amount of $13,671.

The conspiracy that led to the convictions stems from the defendants’ participation in a scheme that defrauded elderly victims beginning in May 2011, and continuing through at least November 2013. As a part of the scheme, co-conspirators would contact elderly individuals in multiple states by phone and convince the victims to wire money to another member of the conspiracy.

Amerson and Starks received the wired monies or transferred them to another member of the conspiracy after keeping a portion for themselves. To convince the victim to wire money, the caller would purport to be a family relative, or person acting on a relative’s behalf, who needed money immediately due to fabricated emergencies such as motor vehicle accidents or arrests.