Authorities: New Jersey couple scams elderly man who later dies by suicide
A New Jersey couple is facing charges in Tennessee after they were accused of tricking an elderly man into believing he was in a relationship with a celebrity and scamming him out of more than $100,000. Police say the man later died by suicide.
The Washington County Sherriff’s Office (WSCO) in Tennessee worked with the Piscataway Township Police Department to arrest Chinagorom Onwumere, 34, and Salma Abdalkareem, 27.
Both suspects are charged with three counts of extortion, three counts of financial exploitation of an elderly/vulnerable person, two counts of theft over $60,000, and two counts of criminal impersonation, according to WSCO.
Sherriff Keith Sexton of WSCO said that they became aware of the scam in late October. The victim sent gift cards and checks totaling $87,500 to the suspects, who reportedly made threats to the victim and his family via email.
The suspects are still being held in Tennessee on $500,000 bail ahead of a detention hearing scheduled for Nov. 30, according to police.
The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are pending.