BRIGHTON — Two Weld County women have been indicted to appear before a state grand jury following a seven-month investigation into a multi-state theft ring.
Karen Rae Vasseur, 73, and her daughter Tracy Lea Vasseur, 40, face multiple felony charges involving theft of up to $1.2 million, according to Brighton police spokesman John Bradley.
According to Bradley, the fraud ring alleged in the indictment would pose as U.S. soldiers overseas, striking up romantic relationships with victims and then soliciting money for various reasons including for cell phones.
The indictment alleges victims of the scam were told that “special agents” such as Karen and Tracy Vasseuer were the only people authorized to accept phones on the fake soldiers’ behalf.
The Vasseuers have been booked in at Adams County Detention Facility and face 20 counts:
- Racketeering conspiracy/endeavoring in violation of COCCA;
- Conducting an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering behavior;
- Money laundering – financial transaction to conceal or disguise nature or avoid reporting;
- Criminal impersonation;
- Nine counts of theft.
The investigation involved the Brighton Police Department, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, the Colorado State Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Secret Service.