Seniors Vs. Crime Jerry Nelson receives award from Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford, Video: Jacksonville Sheriff via Utube

Senior Sleuth Jerry Nelson was recognized by the Jacksonville Sheriff Office and the FBI in a formal ceremony for his outstanding work:

  • collecting evidence

  • analyzing the evidence

  • demonstrating that a criminal law was broken

  • transitioning all of the collected notes and material to the Duval County Sheriff's Office (the host law enforcement agency)

  • supporting the investigation process until the task force lead by US Secret Service which included the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Jacksonville Sheriffs Office, and the FBI had launched their investigation

The FBI and a Senior Sleuth - A success story

A few years ago a senior citizen's complaint was reviewed by a Sheriff's Deputy. Based on the initial evidence the Deputy determined that it was a civil case. The Deputy then referred the senior citizen to the Seniors Vs Crime Project that was co-located with the Sheriff's Office. The Seniors vs Crime Office assigned a top Senior Sleuth to investigate the complaint.

The Senior Sleuth determined that the senior citizen was very observant of activities in his neighborhood. The senior citizen felt he had been scammed, and strongly suspected that some of his neighbors had been scammed as well. The scam involved an insurance payment, so he was not out-of-pocket cash, but he just had a gut instinct that something was not right. He provided the Senior Sleuth with his neighbors names and phone numbers. After making several calls, the Senior Sleuth concluded that the senior was correct in his suspicions.

Senior Sleuth Research

The Senior Sleuth agreed with the senior citizen that this appeared to be an insurance scam. In his research, the Senior Sleuth had also learned that fraud conducted in an organized manner against a number of individuals most often results in a criminal violation under state and/or Federal Law. The Senior Sleuth began collecting documentation from everyone who had been scammed, seniors citizens and non-seniors.

Sheriff Deputy and Sheriff Fraud Crimes Detective's Investigation assisted by Senior Sleuth

The Senior Sleuth then approached the referring Sheriff's Deputy for assistance, and working together, they verified that other neighborhoods had reported the same incidents. After several weeks of accumulating information, the Senior Sleuth and the Sheriff's Deputy realized that this needed to be investigated as criminal fraud because they had written evidence that the same exact scam was conducted against a long list of seniors in local neighborhoods. The Sheriff's Deputy arranged for the Senior Sleuth to present his findings and the evidence collected to the Sheriff Detective who focused on fraud crimes. The Fraud Crimes Sheriff's Detective continued the investigation and using the material provided by the Senior Sleuth, validated that it was almost a certainty that the same scam was being conducted in multiple states.

Sheriff Fraud Crime Detective transition to FBI

The Sheriff's Fraud Crimes Detective contacted the FBI and eventually transitioned the case to them, then the Sheriff's Detective and the Senior Sleuth briefed FBI Agents when they transitioned the documentation. The FBI validated that the case was national in scope and pursued the scam perpetrator(s) for violation of Federal Fraud laws.

This was a simple case of a senior whose gut instinct was that the people who scammed him were scamming a lot of people. The senior's gut instinct turned out to be correct - and his actions landed the scammers in FBI handcuffs then in Federal Court charged with multiple felonies.

The Senior Sleuth was recognized by the Sheriff and the FBI in a formal ceremony for the outstanding work of collecting evidence, analyzing it, demonstrating that a criminal law was broken, transitioning all of that material to the host law enforcement agency, and supporting the investigation process until the FBI had launched their investigation.