Monday, November 21, 2022

Fort Worth woman arrested, charged in $1.2 million ‘sweetheart swindle’ of Indiana man

By James Hartley

 A Fort Worth woman is in jail accused of scamming money from an elderly Indiana man online, according to court documents. 

Lorraine Rew, 46, is being held at the Tarrant County Jail without bail, listed as a fugitive, according to court records. 

Rew is accused of stealing around $1.2 million from the man in what authorities described as an “elaborate sweetheart swindle,” according to a search warrant affidavit filed by the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office. The warrant describes how Rew told the man she needed money for medicine and paying bills for another person. The warrant also suggests how charges of elder exploitation, theft and money laundering might be applicable based on evidence for which investigators were looking.

Rew took that money to casinos in Oklahoma, visiting nearly 160 times in the less than two years, according to the search warrant. Information from a gambling W2 included in the warrant showed Rew won more than $1.45 million at the casinos from Dec. 30, 2019, to Jan. 1, 2022. She also used the money to buy a new Buick Enclave, according to the warrant. 

Rew scammed the man starting on Twitter before moving to cell phone, according to the warrant. She would send documents to the man that looked like medical and insurance information about her and her children, asking him for money to help pay for it and promising to pay him back when the insurance company reimbursed her.

The man took money from retirement funds, savings and checking accounts, credit-card cash advances and personal loans, according to the warrant. 

Inspectors with the United States Postal Service, which investigated the scam because money was sent via the postal service, said they tried to find evidence that Rew used the money to pay medical expenses but were unable to do so, according to the warrant. 

When they interviewed the man he showed USPS inspectors pictures of himself and Rew together in August of 2021, as well as text messages the two exchanged, according to the warrant. In those texts, Rew told the man she would die if she couldn’t get money to pay $18,000 and $2,000 to doctors and pharmacies. 

In the warrant, investigators got permission to search Rew’s property and records including her home, vehicle, cell phone, computers, casino membership cards, bank records, employment documents, medical records and documents, electronic storage devices and credit- and debit-card statements.

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Fort Worth woman arrested, charged in $1.2 million ‘sweetheart swindle’ of Indiana man

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