U.S. Department of Justice

United States Attorney
Southern District of New York

November 16, 2010

Woman Indicted in White Plains Federal Court for Operating a Long-Term Fraud Scheme

PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and RONALD J. VERROCHIO, the Inspector-in-Charge of the New York Division of the United States Postal Inspection Service ("USPIS"), announced today an Indictment charging ALICIA HOLMES with devising and operating a scheme to defraud individuals and entities of more than $400,000 in accommodation, goods, services, and money.  HOLMES was previously presented on a criminal complaint in May 2010 and is scheduled to be arraigned on the Indictment before Magistrate Judge LISA MARGARET SMITH in White Plains federal court on November 17, 2010.

According to the Indictment filed in White Plains federal court:

Since at least April 2007, HOLMES made false and fraudulent representations to hotel managers and staff, real estate brokers, property builders, home owners, and school administrators, among others, through emails, telephone calls, and letters, including statements that:

  • she owned and/or was in the process of purchasing certain high-end properties, including homes valued between approximately $6,255,000 and $17,000,000
  • she had a large amount of assets that she would gain access to within the next few days
  • that she required financial assistance from the victims until she was in possession of those funds
  • that she intended to use those funds to purchase certain high-end properties from some of the victims, or to pay money that she owed to the victims

The Indictment alleges that HOLMES did not have or reasonably expect to have access to a large amount of assets, did not own any high-end properties, and knew that her representations were false at the time she made them.

If convicted, HOLMES faces a maximum term of 20 years in prison, fines of up to $250,000, restitution to victims, and forfeiture of ill-gotten gains.

Mr. BHARARA praised the work of the USPIS. He added that the investigation is continuing.

This matter is being handled by the White Plains Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorney ANNA M. SKOTKO is in charge of the criminal prosecution.

If you think you may have been a victim in this case or have additional information, please call Postal Inspector Patricia Thornton at 914-993-1930.

The charge contained in the Indictment is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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What is Financial Fraud?

Financial Fraud encompasses a wide range of illegal behavior - from mortgage scams to Ponzi schemes, credit card theft to tax fraud. Everyone is affected by financial fraud.