For Immediate Release
May 13, 2021
Concord, NH – Attorney General John M. Formella announces the indictments of Elvis Guzman, age 43, of Paterson, New Jersey, for his role in "Grandparent scams" targeting elderly New Hampshire residents. On May 7, 2021, the Rockingham County Grand Jury returned indictments charging Mr. Guzman with two class A felony counts of conspiracy to commit theft by deception, one class A felony count of theft by deception (as principal/accomplice), and one class A felony count of receiving stolen property.
One conspiracy indictment alleges that between October 27, 2020 and October 30, 2020, Mr. Guzman conspired with others to obtain cash from 11 elderly victims throughout the State through the use of deception. The indictment alleges that, in furtherance of the conspiracy, Mr. Guzman's coconspirators called victims and falsely told them that their grandchildren were arrested and subject to an order to pay cash bail for release. The indictment alleges that, on some occasions, coconspirators posed as a victim's grandchild, and the coconspirators falsely told several victims they were under a "gag order" prohibiting the victims from speaking about the arrest. This is commonly known as a "Grandparent scam."
This conspiracy indictment also alleges that, in furtherance of the conspiracy, Mr. Guzman committed overt acts, including, but not limited to:
The indictment alleges that, collectively, in this four-day span, Mr. Guzman and his coconspirators obtained more than $100,000 from New Hampshire victims as a result of the Grandparent scams.
The theft by deception (as principal/accomplice) indictment alleges that on October 28, 2020, Mr. Guzman, in Newfields, New Hampshire, acting in concert with and/or aided by other, unknown persons obtained or exercised control over $32,000 from two elderly victims by deception, with a purpose to deprive them of the money, by creating the false impression, which Mr. Guzman did not believe to be true, that the victims' grandchild was arrested and subject to bail in the amount of $32,000.
The receiving stolen property indictment alleges that on October 30, 2020, Mr. Guzman, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, received approximately $16,200 belonging to an elderly victim knowing that it was stolen or believing that it probably was stolen, with a purpose to deprive the victim of the money.
The second conspiracy indictment alleges that on and between November 5, 2020, and November 6, 2020, Mr. Guzman conspired with others to obtain cash from a victim in Londonderry, New Hampshire, through the use of deception. Mr. Guzman and his coconspirators are alleged to have used the same Grandparent scam tactics alleged in the first conspiracy indictment. Mr. Guzman was arrested by the Londonderry Police Department on November 6, 2020, and charged by complaint for this crime.
Mr. Guzman faces a maximum penalty on each charge of 7½ -15 years in the New Hampshire State Prison and a $4,000 fine. Mr. Guzman is scheduled to be arraigned on the indictments in the Rockingham County Superior Court on May 25, 2021, at 8:30 a.m.
The charges and allegations against Mr. Guzman are merely accusations, and Mr. Guzman is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Investigator Calice Couchman-Ducey of the Attorney General's Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau investigated this case with the assistance of the New Hampshire State Police, and the following police departments: Londonderry, Keene, Concord, Newfields, Manchester, Hampstead, Newington, Franconia, Epping, and Nashua. The United States Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation also provided assistance.
Assistant Attorney General Bryan J. Townsend, II, of the Attorney General's Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation Unit is prosecuting this case.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of elder abuse or financial exploitation, please contact your local police department or the Department of Health and Human Services Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services (1-800-949-0470).
New Hampshire Department of Justice
33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301