Man sentenced for scamming 89-year-old

Hopeton LaBeach

Hopeton LaBeach, 55, of White Plains, was sentenced Wednesday by Judge Stephen Herrick in Albany County Court to one to three years.

He had pleaded guilty on Dec. 13 to one count of fourth-degree money laundering, a felony.

An investigation by the Bethlehem Police found that he told an 89-year-old woman she had won a prize through the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes, and that, in order to collect her prize, she needed to send him money orders. The victim sent multiple money orders to LaBeach, which totaled over $7,900, according to a release from the Albany County District Attorney’s Office.

LaBeach is required to pay the victim $7,900 and Herrick issued a no-contact order of protection in her favor.

“Hopeton LaBeach did not know his victim, but targeted the victim due to the age listed on public records,” said Cecilia Walsh, spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office, by e-mail in response to questions from The Enterprise. “This case only involved one victim.”

The district attorney’s office has a SALT (Seniors And Law Enforcement Together) hotline and urges elderly victims, or their friends or relatives who suspect a scam, to call 447-SALT (7258).

Assistant District Attorney Jessica Blain-Lewis of the Financial Crimes Unit handled the prosecution of the LaBeach case.

— Melissa Hale-Spencer

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