In a joint enforcement sweep, the DOJ, FBI and Chief Postal Inspector prosecuted more than 400 defendants for elder financial abuse fraud. The numbers represent a significant increase from the 260 charged in 2018. According to the DOJ, the schemes prosecuted in 2019 involved approximately one billion dollars in total. The DOJ also stated that the U.S. Attorneys' Offices from every federal district took part in the sweep.
The DOJ highlighted the efforts of the Transnational Elder Fraud Strike Force, a joint group established in June 2019 to focus on identifying and stopping "those who are targeting our senior communities from overseas." As part of this focus, prosecutors targeted "money mule" networks that facilitate foreign-based elder fraud. The DOJ explained that "money mules transfer fraud proceeds from a victim to ringleaders of fraud schemes who often reside in other countries."
To help protect elderly investors from fraud, the DOJ also announced the creation of the National Elder Fraud Hotline to provide resources and assistance to victims.