In a phone scam targeting the elderly in Madison County, one person has been arrested and another is on the loose

In a phone scam targeting the elderly in Madison County, one person has been arrested and another is on the loose

According to a news release, “Kino Roper and his associates have a network of individuals who, through extortion and fraud, induced elderly citizens across North Alabama and surrounding counties to pay thousands to tens of thousands of dollars each to purportedly help their relatives in need of assistance while preying on their concerns for loved ones.”

The Madison County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a man they believe is behind a series of scam phone calls aimed at elderly people. Another suspect linked to the crimes is being sought by the office. Kino Deandre Roper, 26, was arrested on three counts of theft by deceit on Sunday. His bond was set at $90,000, but he’s also on hold for the FBI, Athens Police, and the sheriff’s offices of Limestone and Morgan counties. When Kino Roper was apprehended, authorities discovered $166,000 in cash, according to the sheriff’s office. Investigators are now looking for a second suspect, Christopher Roper, 30, who is 30 years old.

Over the last month, Madison County Sheriff’s investigators as well as other local law enforcement agencies throughout North Alabama began an investigation into several elder abuse scams that affected numerous individuals in our area. The investigations revealed calls originating from someone claiming to be a lawyer representing a family member who is in need of money for bail, or legal fees. These scammers can be cunning, and may tell you that there is a legal gag order in place and not to contact anyone else about the incident. They will request a large sum of money and say they will send someone to your home to pick it up. Oftentimes, they will reach out a second time, claiming the gag order was violated and your family member needs additional funds. These scammers often call using prepaid phones and use couriers or rideshare services to coordinate the pick-up.

Sheriff Kevin Turner stated, “We take crimes against the elderly serious here in Madison County. These scams have left citizens financially and emotionally devastated and we are committed to investigating, locating, and prosecuting those individuals who take part in such schemes that target and prey on our elderly. I want to personally thank the men and women who worked tirelessly to bring this individual to justice.”

The Madison County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force, Secret Service, Athens Police Department, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, Huntsville Police Department, Homewood Police Department, and the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office. Anyone who believes they were a victim of this scam is urged to contact your local agency and report it. These multi-agency investigations continue and more arrests are expected

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