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Providence man convicted of defrauding seniors from Rhode Island and Massachusetts

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – A Providence man who officials said played a key role in the “grandparent scheme” that victimized dozens of seniors was sentenced to federal prison Thursday.

U.S. Attorney Zachary A. Cunha announced that 39-year-old Vidal Roquez was sentenced to one year and one day in prison; three years of supervised release; 60 hours of community service through meetings with seniors' organizations and groups to describe his and his co-conspirators' criminal behavior and discuss ways seniors can protect themselves from becoming victims; and to pay restitution totaling $130,300 to his victims.

Officials said he visited the homes of grandparent fraud victims in Rhode Island and Massachusetts to collect cash from them after they were convinced that a relative had been arrested and that the money was urgently needed for bail.

During the investigation, officers identified thirteen seniors who victimized Roquez.

He pleaded guilty on December 14, 2023 to the charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Officials are urging Rhode Islanders to call 1-877-FTC-HELP or visit ftc.gov/complaint if they feel they are a victim of elder fraud.

Anna Harden

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