Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced that Robert Attias, age 35 of Miami, Florida (a Canadian citizen), pled guilty today to one count of Theft By Swindle (aiding and abetting) in connection with a series of phones scams committed against Minnesota senior citizens from January to February of 2010 in multiple jurisdictions. Attias was involved in a scam with another individual who would call unsuspecting grandparents posing as their relative or identifying himself as an attorney for their relative and convince them to wire money for bail, car repair or other costs. Attias admitted receiving money in Florida from victims and sending it on to a family member in Canada. Judge Thomas Pugh ordered a pre-sentence investigation and set the sentencing for January 10, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. in Hastings.
The facts pertaining to these incidents are contained in the criminal complaint available at Criminal Complaint Search. To view prior news releases, go to Attorney News Releases.
Backstrom urged Minnesota residents to be aware of scams of this nature and to never forward money, credit card numbers or other personal information to someone without verifying the true identity of the person or the validity of the need to do so.
If you have questions, contact James Backstrom at 651-438-4440.