Two family members charged with scamming elderly Fairhope relative out of thousands of dollars

Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 8:10 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WALA) - Fairhope Police said two family members, related by marriage, plotted and stole thousands of dollars from another elderly family member. It allegedly happened over several months. Both were arrested Monday, September 11, 2023. One is charged with financial exploitation of the elderly and the other with impersonating a peace officer.

Gerald Anderson and uncle by marriage, Jerry Ward arrested and accused of scamming elderly...
Gerald Anderson and uncle by marriage, Jerry Ward arrested and accused of scamming elderly relative out of thousands over several months(Baldwin County Sheriff's Office)

Investigators said one of the men would call the elderly victim and pretend to be a law enforcement officer. He would tell her that the other family member was an undercover drug buyer for the department and needed money, which would later be reimbursed.

Fairhope Police started looking into the case less than a week ago when other family members of the alleged victim noticed several discrepancies in the victim’s accounts. Police said more than $5,000 turned up missing since January.

It didn’t take long for police to figure out where it was allegedly going. Investigators said 27-year-old Gerald Anderson came up with a scheme and his uncle, by marriage, 50-year-old Jerry Ward helped him pull it off.

“Jerry was calling our victim in this case and asking for money for Gerald to make drug buys with because Gerald was supposedly working for Jerry as an undercover, you know, drug person to buy drugs, so Gerald was supposedly needing this money to make those purchases, so our victim in this case was sending the money to Gerald to make these drug buys with,” explained Lt. Shane Nolte with Fairhope Police.

Police said the victim had supported Anderson financially for quite some time, but that support had dwindled. They said that’s why Anderson came up with the scheme and involved Ward. While Ward is only charged with impersonating a peace officer at this point, investigators said they believe he may have also been getting a cut of the money.

“They both can face many more additional charges, depending on what else we found,” Nolte said. “I know right now I can remember like eight transactions in that January to August timeframe, so I don’t know how many more she’s going to find at this point.”

Police said scams against the elderly are all too common but when it comes from inside the family, it makes it an even harder pill to swallow.

“It’s bad to take advantage of your family like that, you know… How are you hurting them? Is that money they’re going to need further down the line for their own care? It…it does make it worse,” Nolte said.

Gerald Anderson was released from the Baldwin County Jail after posting a bond of $13,500. Jerry Ward also made bail. His bond was set at $5,000 for the impersonating a peace officer.