Elderly Northeast Arkansan Repaid $16,000 After Being Targeted by Scheme

JANUARY 31, 2006 - Posted at 7:56 a.m. CST

CHEROKEE VILLAGE, AR - An elderly northeast Arkansan was repaid thousands of dollars after agents with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement discovered an international telemarketing scheme was targeting senior citizens.  The organization returned $16,000 to the family of the 93-year-old Cherokee Village woman.

The fraudulent telemarketing scheme was uncovered through an international law enforcement program called Project Colt.  The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and U.S. federal law enforcement agencies were involved in the investigation.

Michael Holt, special agent-in-charge of the immigration office in New Orleans, said the case shows that it is becoming more difficult for criminals to hide their activities from authorities.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)