Gold Bars Scam: Indian Woman Tricks Veteran for $1.5 Million

Written on 05/19/2024
Asia91 Team

A patriotic retired military veteran was deceived by fake federal agents, losing $1.5 million in gold bars. Learn how the scam unfolded and the key details of the case.

What Happened

In February, a retired military veteran in Bradenton, Florida, answered a knock on his door to find two individuals claiming to be federal agents. They told him they had a warrant for his arrest. 


However, instead of arresting him, the "agents" called their supervisor. The so-called supervisor convinced the veteran that he could help with a Social Security fraud investigation rather than being arrested.


For the next month, the supervisor called the veteran daily, gaining his trust and convincing him to provide "seed money" for the operation. The veteran, believing he was serving his country, transferred $1.5 million worth of his retirement savings in gold bars to the scammers.


Key Highlights:


  • Manipulated Patriotism: The scammers took advantage of the veteran’s military background and sense of duty.
  • Daily Contact: The fake supervisor built trust with the veteran through daily phone calls.
  • Gold Bar Transfers: The veteran was instructed to make multiple transfers of gold bars, believing it was part of a sting operation.
  • Scam Trend: Fraud involving gold bars is increasing because gold is easy to liquidate.
  • Elder Fraud Rise: The Bradenton Police Department has seen a significant increase in elder fraud cases.
  • Police Action: Detectives tracked down one of the scammers, Patel, an Indian-origin woman living in Georgia, who admitted to collecting money for a man named "King."


Patel has been charged with grand theft of over $100,000. The Bradenton Police Department has established an elder fraud unit to educate the community and prevent such scams. 


For more information on the unit and available resources, visit the department’s website.