"Man convicted of scamming Haverhill grandfather of $43,000" by Felicia Gans Globe Correspondent September 11, 2015
A Canadian man was found guilty Friday of concocting a false story to persuade a Haverhill grandfather to send tens of thousands of dollars in bail money for his grandson.
Sami Saloumi, 33, faces prison time for the scam in which he posed as a San Diego police officer in November and told the 78-year-old man his relative was in jail. The victim’s grandson lived in San Diego, officials said, but had not been arrested.
The grandfather sent packages, each with several thousand dollars in cash, to Saloumi. In total, Saloumi received $43,000 from the man, the office of Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said in a statement.
Not too big to jail.
Concerned over the large amounts of money being withdrawn by the grandfather from his account, bank employees encouraged him to alert Haverhill police, Blodgett’s office said.
Police then delivered a “dummy” package to a California location that Saloumi had given the man. Saloumi, who is a Canadian citizen, was arrested after he signed for the package.
“I commend this victim for reporting this crime because often, scam victims are too embarrassed to come forward,” Haverhill Police Chief Alan DeNaro said in the statement. “We can’t do anything about it if it is not reported.”
A jury in Essex County Superior Court in Salem found Saloumi guilty of conspiracy and attempt to receive stolen property.
He will be sentenced Monday and faces up to five years in state prison for each count, Blodgett’s office said. The state also plans to seek restitution at the sentencing hearing.
UPDATE: Canadian man gets two years in jail for bail money scam