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Defendant scammed local 78-year-old woman of more than $300,000.
Media Release
For Immediate Release
Contact: Tammy Rianda
PR 15-039

Reno, Nevada. Feb. 27, 2015. On Feb. 26, 2015, the Honorable Elliott Sattler sentenced defendant Steve Adams, DOB 11/01/77, to the maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for exploitation of an older person.   

Adams befriended the victim, a 78-year-old retired educator, in March of 2012. Adams met her in a supermarket parking lot and told her he could do body work on her vehicle. Over the next nine months he ingratiated himself into her life and scammed her out of more than $300,000. At one point, he obtained a substantial amount of money from her for purported medical fees and funeral expenses feigning an illness and death of a friend. Adams has been linked by Reno Police Detectives to a group of criminal gypsies that have scammed at least one other senior citizen in the Reno area. 

At sentencing, the State argued that a maximum sentence was warranted because the defendant preyed upon an older, apparently lonely and vulnerable senior citizen who is now limited to her pension and social security income for her remaining years. In handing down the maximum sentence Judge Sattler recognized the need to protect our aging population. 

“This case presents a prime example of the need to educate our aging population that a criminal element exists in our community with the sole objective of targeting the elderly through harassment, deception and opportunity,” said Washoe County District Attorney Chris Hicks. “The Washoe County District Attorney’s Office encourages our seniors to be on alert and cautious of these scam artists.” 

Any questions should be addressed to Deputy District Attorneys, Roy Stralla at the District Attorney’s Office at 328-3205.