Flint, Florida women sentenced to prison for defrauding seniors

A 28-year-old Flint woman and a 29-year-old Florida woman were sentenced for their part in an international fraud ring that targeted senior citizens across multiple states. 

Jmyla Elaine Sha’Taria White, of Thonotosassa, Florida was sentenced to 97 months in federal prison, and then three years of supervised release, while McKhaela Katelynn McNamara, of Flint was sentenced to 51 months in prison with the same three years supervised release.

White also has to repay $3,224,549 and McNamara $693,073 in restitution to victims. 

"Our seniors are being targeted by financial scammers at an alarming rate," said U.S. Attorney Mark Totten. "My office is committed to educating the public about financial schemes that inflict financial harm and defraud unsuspecting victims of their hard-earned money. We will continue working with our local, state, and federal partners to hold fraudsters accountable and secure a measure of justice for their victims."

White and McNamara were two of seven defendants charged last year with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.  

Both pled guilty in January 2024. 

"This is one of the most reprehensible fraud schemes I have seen.," said U.S. District Judge Jane M. Beckering. "This wasn’t just a theft of money.  It was a theft of dignity and a theft of security. This was a heinous crime that devastated people who worked hard their whole lives, and now their money is gone."                     

The fraud scheme began when victims received a message on their computers warning that a virus had infected their devices. The messages urged the victims to call a number to get help. When the victims called the number provided, they got a response from someone claiming to work for a tech company, such as Microsoft or Apple.  n truth, they were scammers located in India, who scared the victims into giving money to the conspiracy with a variety of different ruses. 

According to court records, White and McNamara personally met with victims to collect packages of money from them, which they then passed on to higher-level members of the conspiracy.  White also recruited others to join the conspiracy. 

A victim in West Michigan lost $398,000 to the conspiracy. 

"The defendants participated in an elaborate fraud conspiracy that targeted mostly elderly victims, resulting in the loss of millions of dollars," said Cheyvoryea Gibson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan. "Every day, fraudsters are becoming more clever and organized to steal citizens’ hard-earned money, so it is important to report these crimes to the FBI for help. If you believe you may have fallen victim to a scheme like this, you can file a report at ic3.gov or contact our office at 313-965-2323."