Men from California, Nevada indicted for running ‘grandparent scheme’ in western Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH — Two men from Las Vegas, Nevada and one man from Reseda, California were indicted in Pittsburgh on charges that they traveled to the area to conduct a “grandparent scheme” and take money from elderly victims.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, three men were charged in connection with the investigation:

  • Roderick Feurtado, 54, of Las Vegas, NV
  • Tarek Bouanane, 45, of Las Vegas, NV
  • Roberto Gutierrez, 49, of Reseda, CA

Investigators said the three men traveled to the Pittsburgh area in September with the goal of targeting elderly victims. They called the victims, posed as attorneys, and lied to victims stating that a grandchild had been put in jail and needed money for bail and legal fees. Officials said Feurtado helped Bouanane and Gutierrez pose as couriers or bail bondsman, visited victims at their homes and collected the money.

At least $250,000 has been recovered so far.

The three men each face a sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both.

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Channel 11 reported in September that the men were charged in connection with the scheme and were being held at the Westmoreland County Prison. Police said they were aware of 10 cases so far across Westmoreland and Allegheny counties.

The scam was revealed when one of the intended victims went to the bank to remove money, and the teller at the bank informed them this was a scam. Police then staged at the intended victim’s house and caught Gutierrez as he approached the home to collect the money.