Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Rush City woman indicted in global scheme involving romance scams, pandemic aid fraud

Gayle Joyce Ferngren accused of laundering $1.8 million, sending the rest to conspirators around the world


December 22, 2022

A federal grand jury has alleged that a 69-year-old Rush City, Minn., woman helped carry out a global fraud scheme that duped victims around the country through romance fraud schemes and also targeted pandemic aid programs.

Gayle Joyce Ferngren was indicted Tuesday on four counts of mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering in a scheme that prosecutors alleged started in 2016. She is accused of pocketing at least $1.8 million in fraud funds during that time while transferring most of the proceeds to co-conspirators in as far-flung locales as Egypt and South Africa.

Ferngren could not be reached for comment nor had an attorney listed as representing her. Her first court appearance in the case is scheduled for Jan. 4. Ferngren is the only conspirator charged in the case so far, and others are not referred to by name in the indictment.


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