Glenda Seim, Convicted Money Mule!
An 81-Year-Old Kirkwood Woman Pleaded Guilty To Being A “Money Mule” For An Online ScammerScammer A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer.
81-year-old Kirkwood, Missouri woman pleads guilty to being “money mule”
An 81-year-old Kirkwood woman pleaded guilty to being a “money mule” for an online scammer.
Glenda Seim made the plea to U. S. District Court Judge Stephen Clark on November 2 for two counts of identity theftIdentity Theft Identity theft is when someone uses another person's personal identifying information, without their permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. In both the U.K. and the United States it is the theft of personally identifiable information. Identity theft deliberately uses someone else's identity as a method to gain financial advantages or obtain credit and other benefits, and perhaps to cause other person's loss. The person whose identity has been stolen may suffer adverse consequences, especially if they are falsely held responsible for the perpetrator's actions. Personally identifiable information generally includes a person's name, date of birth, social security number, driver's license number, bank account or credit card numbers, PINs, electronic signatures, fingerprints, passwords, or any other information that can be used to access a person's financial resources..
In a release from the Department of Justice, Eastern District of Missouri, a “money mule” is described as a person who receives stolen money and merchandise for a scammer and then sends the proceeds to the scammer.
In 2014, Seim started an online relationship with a person who claimed to be an American citizen with business interests in Nigeria. The scammer would ask her to send him money for what he claimed were fees, taxes, and penalties for the Nigerian government or business associates.
Seim also began sending him her Social Security retirement benefits and pension.
The scammer also had Seim pawn electronic equipment he mailed to her, and she sent the money back.
Seim also began receiving MoneyGram wire transfers from people she did not know, depositing counterfeit and stolen checks, allowing the scammer to transfer stolen money to her, and accepting unemployment benefits for people she did not know.
Seim also deposited a $100,000 check stolen in a romance fraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim. scheme.
Officials say Seim continued to give the scammer money, despite warnings from wire transfer agencies, law enforcement officials, bank officials, and even though her financial accounts were forcibly closed.
Between June 2014 and February 2021, Seim tried to conduct transactions between $550,000 and $1,500,000.
81-Year-Old Woman Helped Online Scammers Steal As Much As USD$1.5M
According to the United States Department of Justice:
United States District Court Judge Stephen R. Clark accepted a plea of guilty from Glenda Seim, 81 years old of Kirkwood, Missouri on November 2, 2021 for two counts of identity theft related to her participation as a “money mule” in various fraudulent schemes on behalf of her online romantic interest. A grand jury in the Eastern District of Missouri previously indicted Seim for the charges.
A “money mule” is a person who receives fraudulently obtained money and merchandise on behalf of a scammer, and then forwards the proceeds to the scammer.
Sometime during 2014, Seim began an online relationship with an individual who claimed to be a United States citizen with business interests in Nigeria. Throughout the years, Seim’s purported romantic interest would ask for her assistance in paying fees, taxes, and penalties to the Nigerian government or his business associates. He claimed that he could not leave Nigeria unless he paid those funds. Despite having never met her romantic interest in person or communicated with him in any form other than texting, Seim began sending him money from her Social Security retirement benefits and pension. He later asked her to pawn electronic equipment that he had others send to her in the mail and forward the funds to him.
Because the return was not as high as he wanted, Seim began participating in other fraudulent schemes including: receiving MoneyGram wire transfers from senders she did not know; depositing counterfeit and fraudulently obtained checks into financial accounts she opened; allowing her romantic interest to fraudulently transfer funds from the financial accounts of various businesses into her financial accounts; and accepting unemployment insurance benefit payments on behalf of individuals she did not know. A check drawn on the retirement account of a romance fraud victim in the amount of $100,000 was among Seim’s fraudulent deposits. Seim kept a portion of the funds fraudulently obtained before providing the balance to her online romantic partner.
Despite warnings by wire transfer agencies, local policeLocal Police The Local Police is your first responder in most countries. In most English-speaking countries and in Europe report to them first. In other countries look for your national cybercrime police units to report scams to. In the U.S., Canada, & Australia, you must report to the local police first. officers, federal law enforcement representatives, and bank representatives and the forced closing of her financial accounts, Seim continued to facilitate the transfer of funds on behalf of her online romantic interest. Between June 2014 and February 2021, Seim attempted to conduct fraudulent transactions between $550,000 and $1,500,000.
Seim is scheduled to be sentenced on February 10, 2022.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Secret Service.
This Is A Particularly Sad Case
Glenda was clearly manipulated and controlled by the scammers engineering the romance scam and the subsequent activities.
As we know, romance scamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime - is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. are especially powerful both in their psychology and in the level of manipulation that can be employed against a victim. And while clearly, this victim was warned by authorities, she was powerless to stop. However, instead of a proper psychiatric determination, the government decided to prosecute.
To make a determination from a distance is very hard, but seeing the above video leads to an inescapable conclusion that she still exists in substantial denialDenial Denial is a refusal or unwillingness to accept something or to accept reality. Refusal to admit the truth or reality of something, refusal to acknowledge something unpleasant; And as a term of Psychology: denial is a defense mechanism in which confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided by denying the existence of the problem or reality.. She shows hallmarks of traumaTrauma Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatter your sense of security, making you feel helpless in a dangerous world. Psychological trauma can leave you struggling with upsetting emotions, memories, and anxiety that won’t go away. It can also leave you feeling numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people. Traumatic experiences often involve a threat to life or safety or other emotional shocks, but any situation that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and isolated can result in trauma, even if it doesn’t involve physical harm. It’s not the objective circumstances that determine whether an event is traumatic, but your subjective emotional experience of the event. The more frightened and helpless you feel, the more likely you are to be traumatized. Trauma requires treatment, either through counseling or therapy or through trauma-oriented support programs, such as those offered by SCARS. in her demeanor as well.
As we have written about many times, the level of manipulation that victims go through is extraordinary. Significant trauma can result with the ending of a romance scam and it is natural for a victim to avoid that ending by living in a state of denial.
LEARN MORE ABOUT MONEY MULES HERE!
What is especially striking in this case, and in most others of elderly victims that were converted into money mulesMoney mules Money mules are a type of money laundering where a person transfers illicit funds through a medium (such as a bank account) to obfuscate where the money came from. There are different types of money mules including witting, unwitting, and complicit. or even accomplices, is that they did this will under the full control of the criminals. Putting someone like this through a trial and conviction and sentencing is cruel and unnecessary. This is a mental healthMental health Mental health, defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), is "a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community". According to WHO, mental health includes "subjective well-being, perceived self-efficacy, autonomy, competence, intergenerational dependence, and self-actualization of one's intellectual and emotional potential, among others". From the perspectives of positive psychology or of holism, mental health may include an individual's ability to enjoy life and to create a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience. Cultural differences, subjective assessments, and competing professional theories all affect how one defines "mental health". issue not a criminalCriminal A criminal is any person who through a decision or act engages in a crime. This can be complicated, as many people break laws unknowingly, however, in our context, it is a person who makes a decision to engage in unlawful acts or to place themselves with others who do this. A criminal always has the ability to decide not to break the law, or if they initially engage in crime to stop doing it, but instead continues. justice issue.
In no way do we condone her actions, but these were not the actions of a person who had otherwise led a life of morality and integrity. These were the actions of someone under the control and manipulation of professional criminals focused only on their own gain.
Unfortunately, this is the model that law enforcement is increasingly turning to, to stop money mules. Arresting and prosecuting them, instead of institutional mental healthcare.
As long as there are romance scams, and as long as there are romance scam victims, there will be money mules who live in such denial that they cannot accept reality. But we need to find a better way to end their activities with greater compassion because the difference between a normal scam victim and someone like this is the slimmest of margins.
To learn more about money mules and how to stop or help them we suggest the following:
- 5 Steps Guide For Money Mules
- Find a trauma counselor or therapist: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/trauma-and-ptsd
- Find a criminal law attorney: Criminal Law – FindLaw
SCARS RSN Articles About Mules:
- What Is A Money Mule? – An Overview
- Money Laundering Presents Grave Dangers For Scam Victims & Mules
- Money Mule Series: About Banking & Legal Responsibility
- All About Money Mules
- Scam Victims & Violating The Law
- Giving Out Your Banking Information – SCARS™ Scam Warning
- What Are Scammer Money Mules?
- Understanding and Protecting Yourself Against Money Mule Schemes
- The Difference Between A Scammer’s MULE and a MOLE
- Landmark Case Changes Everything For Money Mules
- Criminal Crack Down On Money Mules Worldwide
- Europe Continues The Global Crackdown On Money Mules
- Missouri Money/Parcel Mule Convicted
- Another Senior Faces Jail As A Scammer Drug Mule
- Scam Basics: From Victim To Criminal
- FBI Warning About Scammers Recruiting Mules
- Rubberband Bank Wire Transfer Scams [Infographic]
- Why Reporting Matters?
- Editorial: Attitudes Are Changing
Essential Tools For Every Scam SurvivorSurvivor A Scam Survivor is a victim who has been able to fully accept the reality of their situation. That they were the victim of a crime and are not to blame. They are working on their emotional recovery and reduction of any trauma either on their own, through a qualified support organization, or through counseling or therapy. And has done their duty and reported the crime to their local police, national police, and on Anyscam.com From SCARS Publishing
Each is based on our SCARS Team’s 32 plus years of experience.
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SCARS GREEN BOOK
Self-Help Self-Paced Recovery Program Guide
LEARN HOW TO RECOVER ON YOUR OWN
This program is designed to help scam victims struggling to recover on their own and for those who want to understand the overall process. You can be using other resources, such as trauma counselingCounseling Counseling is the professional guidance of the individual by utilizing psychological methods especially in collecting case history data, using various techniques of the personal interview, and testing interests and aptitudes. A mental health counselor (MHC), or counselor, is a person who works with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental and emotional health. Such persons may help individuals deal with issues associated with addiction and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; stress management; self-esteem; and aging. They may also work with "Social Workers", "Psychiatrists", and "Psychologists". SCARS does not provide mental health counseling. or therapy, qualified support groupsSupport Groups In a support group, members provide each other with various types of help, usually nonprofessional and nonmaterial, for a particular shared, usually burdensome, characteristic, such as romance scams. Members with the same issues can come together for sharing coping strategies, to feel more empowered and for a sense of community. The help may take the form of providing and evaluating relevant information, relating personal experiences, listening to and accepting others' experiences, providing sympathetic understanding and establishing social networks. A support group may also work to inform the public or engage in advocacy. They can be supervised or not. SCARS support groups are moderated by the SCARS Team and or volunteers., or completely independent – on your own!
The SCARS Steps program is a complete program and is provided for the purpose of helping scam victims to overcome this experience. Throughout this SCARS Steps Program, we speak about issues and challenges that a victim may have and help guide them through their recovery. But each person is different and it is important to understand your own reasons for being vulnerable to being scammed.
After the trauma of being scammed, you need to take steps to recover and move on. This may be an alternative to counseling in the short term, but we still encourage you to seek out professional help & support. Throughout this SCARS Steps Program, we speak about issues, challenges, defects, or problems that a victim may have in a generalized way.
The SCARS GREEN BOOK will help you recover from your scam offline and it will always be there when you need it!
SCARS SLATE BOOK – Let Us Explain What Happened!
A Guide For Families & Friends Of Scam Victims
HOW TO HELP ROMANCE SCAM VICTIMS FOR FAMILIES & FRIENDS OF SCAM VICTIMS
This SCARS Publishing book represents a complete guide to help the families and friends understand how these scams work and how to help the victim.
The SCARS Slate Book should be purchased by family and friends to better understand what happened to the victim and the traumatic impact on them. But it can also be shared by the victim so that they do not have to explain to family and friends about the scam. This publication is to help others to help Scam Victims to make it through this traumatic experience and recover.
Each person is different and it is important to understand how relationship scamsRelationship Scam A Relationship Scam is a one-to-one criminal act that involves a trust relationship and uses deception & manipulation to get a victim to give to the criminal something of value, such as money! Click here to learn more: What Is A Relationship Scam? work and why people are vulnerable; to being scammed, how they were lured in, then groomed and manipulated. This understanding is essential in helping them through the process of ending the scam and then on to recovery. The SCARS Slate Book will provide the information necessary to help support a victim through this process.
SCARS RED BOOK
Your Personal Scam Evidence & Crime Record Organizer
ORGANIZE YOUR INFORMATION TO MAKE THE REPORTING PROCESS SIMPLE!
Helps you get and stay organized. This publication is to help Scam Victims organize their crime information. Complete this information before reporting to the police then bring this book with you
Before or after reporting to the police the RED BOOK gives you a dedicated tool to record all the essential facts of this crime. The Victim, the Scammers, the Money, and your Police interactions. Everything that really matters can be easily recorded for your immediate use and for the future!
As we have seen, money recovery/repayment programs can become available years after the scam ends and you need to keep all the details of this crime in case it is needed. We have also seen scammers being extradited to the U.S. and other countries, this will help in the event you testify or give statements, Additionally, this helps you have your information ready to qualify for victims’ benefits, compensation, or aid.
The Official SCARS RED BOOK is your way of recording all the important facts of this crime so that you do not lose essential information, Complete the RED BOOK then put it away with the confidence that you will have it if or when it is needed.
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I wouldn’t fall for that, as soon as money is mentioned, I would treat it as a scamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime - is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. and cut them off, once I wasted their time.
Famous last words! Everyone can be scammed. Believing that you cannot makes you an ideal candidate. This is not about pride or what you know, those are just cognitive biases, it is about behaviors. But yes, this is a more extreme case, but also very common. Thousands are no being held to account each year.