Searches of Orchard Hill business and residence result in arrest in Wisconsin elder fraud case

Booking photo provided by the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office

STAFF REPORT :::

Simultaneous search warrants executed Tuesday at a local residence and business resulted in one arrest related to an alleged scam that targeted an elderly victim.

The Spalding County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division and CAGE Unit arrested 23-year-old Kuldip Patel after searching the residence at 3110 Macon Road Apartment C and the Orchard Hill Food Mart located at 3016 Macon Road.

Officials say SCSO investigators communicated with law enforcement counterparts in Germantown, Wis., and determined the victim had mailed $20,000 in cash to the Macon Road residence involved in the search. They allege the money was mailed after the elderly woman “fell victim to a phone scam.”

“During the course of the investigation we were able to recover all of the cash and the packaging material that it was contained in when mailed to the suspect by the victim. We are in the process of returning the cash to her,” said Sheriff Darrell Dix. “This was great work on behalf of our Investigators and CAGE Unit and a great example of teamwork and communication between the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office and Wisconsin investigators. Everyone involved from both agencies worked hard to do all they could to help this victim and their hard work paid off.”

Dix said this incident ended differently than most in that the money was recovered.

“This victim was very lucky because most scams do not end well for them. It’s pathetic that people

intentionally target the elderly like this and just view them as easy prey that they can take advantage of,” Dix said. “Please speak to your loved ones about steps they can take steps to not be victimized by scams.”

Patel has been charged with felony theft by taking and felony theft by deception.

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