ELDERLY CALIFORNIA WOMAN SCAMMED BY ATLANTA CON ARTISTS IN $100K INVESTMENT SCHEME
Jury Convicts, Judge Orders Prison Time and Full Restitution
October 16, 2013
Atlanta– Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard, Jr. announces a double conviction in the fraud case against a pair of con artists who scammed an elderly California woman out of $100,000.00 in savings. Jurors returned guilty verdicts on Friday against 53-year-old Wendy Green on charges of Theft by Taking, Abuse of an Elder Person and Violation of the Georgia Securities Act (two counts). Co-defendant Norman Olsen, 58, pled guilty during trial on the same charges. Each was sentenced to 15 years in prison and ordered to pay full restitution to the victim.
The scheme dates back to 2008 when Olsen and Green convinced the victim, Helga Harders, who was 77 years-old at the time, to wire $100,000.00 to Olsen’s Atlanta business account. Ms. Harders thought she was investing in oil. The defendants promised her in writing that she would double her investment in just ten days. Instead, the defendants split the money and used it to pay for bills and personal extravagances. The defendants continued to mislead the victim for several years promising her repeatedly that her big ‘pay day’ was imminent.
Ms. Harders obtained the $100,000.00 she invested with the defendants from a reverse mortgage. She had hoped to invest the money in a legitimate venture that would make her additional money to enjoy with family and friends during retirement. The victim instead found herself broke with little money to pay for her basic needs—often having to rely on her church for food. She eventually reported the defendants to police. The District Attorney’s White Collar Crime Unit received the case in the summer of 2012 and obtained indictments against Olsen and Green.
In addition to their 15-year-prison terms and restitution payments, Defendant Olsen was ordered to serve ten years on probation, while Green must serve five years on probation following release. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Kimberly Esmond Adams who presided over the case also ordered each defendant to write a letter of apology to the victim.
Chief Senior District Attorney Brad Malkin, Director of the White Collar Crime Unit, and ADA Kimberly Bourroughs prosecuted the case with assistance from DA Investigators Donald Scully and Dustin Howey. Sergeant Paul Cooper and Investigator Sarah Barr of the Atlanta Police Department’s Major Fraud Unit led the initial investigation.