Three women, accused of scamming elderly Chinese women in major cities in the US, like San Francisco, have been arrested. According to prosecutors and police, the scams have been going on for the past few months. The three accused are Huifei Lin, Caiqiong Chen and Lirong Lin. Some of the charges made against them are of financial abuse of the elderly, extortion and grand theft.
The crime – scamming and robbing jewelery
The trio, who committed most of their crimes in March 2012, approached older women and told them that evil spirits were plaguing them. The accused would then inform the women that a purification ceremony will help rid them of the spirits. They would also require the women to bring their money and jewelery to the ceremony.
The accused placed the items in a small bag, and robbed them when the women were not watching. To ensure that the women did not find out about the crime a few days after, the accused would tell them to not look into the bag after the alleged ceremony.
Suspects apprehended at airport
According to Greg Suhr, the San Francisco police chief, the trio scammed around 25 women in the city and got jewelery and cash worth thousands of dollars. Some of the victims of the crimes were from big cities like Boston and New York. The police apprehended the suspects on May 10 just as they were boarding a flight to Hong Kong. The accused had thousands of dollars in items and cash in their luggage. The three were accompanied by Qinying and Feiyan Wu, who the police arrested at the airport.
Suhr mentioned that with the three women arrested, the organized crime ring will be affected. He hoped that this will bring to the public’s attention some of the crimes they should be aware of. According to Suhr, if someone makes an offer that requires people to use their property or finances immediately, they should suspect that something could be wrong with it. George Gascon, the district attorney stated that the crime was a classic case of baiting and switching.