Hamptons Couple John Ficarra and Mara Ficarra Targeted Thousands of Elderly Victims In Elder Fraud Scam
Federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment charging John Ficarra and Mara Ficarra with operating a massive elder fraud scam. John and Mara Ficarra are charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Federal prosecutors are also charging them with bank fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Richard P. Donoghue and Philip R. Bartlett from United States Postal Inspection Service, New York Division (USPIS), announced the charges:
The defendants preyed upon some of the most vulnerable members of our community. They were stealing their personal information and defrauding financial institutions. Protecting the elderly from financial fraud remains a priority of the Department of Justice.
The Ficarra’s exploited victims by fraudulently using their bank routing numbers and bank account number to produce counterfeit checks. The checks were then deposited into accounts they controlled. Once the checks cleared, they withdrew the funds to the tune of more than $1 million.
How The Hamptons Couple Pulled Off Their Elder Fraud Scam
The Ficarras owned and operated various companies. This included Remington Biographies, Remington Bookkeepers, and Mentorship America1 (collectively, the “Remington Entities”). The Remington Entities purported to publish reference publications containing biographical information of individuals across the country. Those publications included “Inspiring the Youth of America” and “The Remington Registry of Outstanding Professionals.”
The Ficarras sent letters and pamphlets to potential elderly victims during the past five years indicating that the victim’s biography would be published in one of the reference publications.
The solicitations indicated:
The pamphlet also described the publication:
The Remington Registry of Outstanding Professionals is more than a website, more than a book, more than a Biographical index and certainly more than a who’s who. It is the ultimate expression of achievements, hardships, and dedication that professionals have made in their lives and careers…. Sit back and be ready for a wonderful experience.
The mailings also induced thousands of victims to send checks as payment for inclusion in the reference publications. The Ficarras then used the routing and bank account information on those checks to produce fraudulent checks for larger dollar amounts. Consequently, they then deposited into bank accounts they controlled at least a dozen banks. As a result, the Ficarras stole more than $1 million dollars from the victim subscribers and financial institutions.