An Atlantic City woman is facing charges after authorities say she scammed senior citizens out of money, which then made her ineligible to receive benefits from the government.

44-year-old Victoria Crosby was scheduled to have an initial court appearance Wednesday. She has been charged with one count of wire fraud, one count of concealing information affecting a continued right to payment by the SSA, one count of health care fraud, and one count of making a false statement representation or document to HUD.

Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael Honig says Crosby and others used prepaid cell phones to contact victims, many over the age of 70, whose spouses or other family members had recently died. They allegedly used fake names and pretended to be employees of either a retirement benefit office or a life insurance company.

Honig says they told the victims that life insurance policies that were obtained by their deceased family members and for which they were the beneficiary were behind in payments and to correct the situation they needed to pay thousands of dollars.

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The victims were told to buy prepaid cards and then give them the ten-digit codes on the back. After obtaining the prepaid card information, Crosby and others loaded the money into their own bank accounts. Authorities say video surveillance footage obtained by law enforcement shows Crosby withdrawing that money from ATMs across New Jersey.

Honig says as Crosby was committing these crimes, she was receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits from the SSA and Medicaid. Crosby was also living in public housing in Atlantic City and receiving housing assistance through HUD’s Public and Indian Housing Program.

Authorities say during the year 2020, Crosby received $110,380 into her bank account and had SSA or HUD been aware of that income, she would not have been eligible for government benefits.

The counts of wire fraud and health care fraud each carry up to 20 years in prison and potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. Each charges Crosby is facing involving government benefits carries up to five years behind bars and additional monetary fines.

Honig reminds the public that these charges and allegations are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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