Man on trial accused of posing as police officer to steal 34K from elderly victim

The prosecutor alleges that a man and a woman defrauded the victim of her savings during a two-hour phone call.

West Uusimaa District Court. Photo from 2019. Image: Yle/ Lukas Rusk

The prosecution is demanding prison sentences for a man and a woman who, according to charges, defrauded an elderly woman of nearly 34,000 euros. The case proceedings began on Thursday at West Uusimaa District Court.

According to the prosecution, the male defendant contacted the victim by phone, saying that the Finnish National Bureau of Investigation (KRP) was investigating a crime in which the victim's family had been under surveillance and their house had been broken into.

The indictment states that the man called the elderly woman in January 2020, posing as a police officer. During the two-hour call, the man asked for the woman's account information, passwords and key information, explaining that account transfers should be made to secure the woman's property.

During the call the victim's money was transferred from several of her accounts to her checking account. After the call, the man and the second defendant transferred the money to their own accounts.

"Significant illegal financial gain has been pursued through the deceit. Taking into consideration the systematic nature of the conduct, the age of the victim and the intent to establish a relationship of trust with the victim by posing as a police officer, the crime as a whole is an outrageous offense," the prosecutor stated in his summons.

Defendant says he gave another person access to bank account

The man is charged with usurpation of authority and aggravated fraud and the woman with aggravated fraud.

The prosecutor is demanding a suspended prison sentence for the female defendant, and a custodial term for the man.

In his written response to the court, the male defendant denies the charges. The defendant says he gave another person permission to withdraw money from his account because the person in question did not have their own debit card.

The man denies knowing that the money originated from criminal proceedings. The woman has not provided the court with a preliminary response that would reveal her position on the charges.