LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WEHT) – A federal grand jury in Louisville returned an indictment in October charging a New York man with conspiracy to commit mail fraud for his role in a “grandparent scam” that impacted senior victims around the country, including a person from Meade County who lost tens of thousands of dollars to the scam.

Officials say “grandparent scams,” also known as “person-in-need scams,” involve perpetrators making false claims to victims that their loved one is in jeopardy and in need of money that the perpetrator will use to assist the loved one.     

According to court documents, Juan Carlos Arcena Cabrera, 28, of Yonkers, New York, conspired with others to trick seniors into sending cash payments under the false pretense that a grandchild or loved one had been in a car accident or was facing legal trouble. Documents say scam callers would reach out to victims repeatedly, claiming more money was needed to cover additional emergency expenses. Officials say as part of this conspiracy, Cabrera posed as the grandson of a Kentucky victim and tried to pick up a parcel full of cash that the victim had shipped from Kentucky to a New York FedEx store.

Court documents say Cabrera was arraigned Monday in U.S. District Court. Officials say if convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and there is no parole in the federal system. Authorities say a federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the United States Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

A press release says the United States Postal Inspection Service is investigating the case with assistance from the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security Investigations, the United States Secret Service, and the New York Police Department.