SCURRY, Texas — A Scurry woman pled guilty to scamming an elderly woman of $45,500 and has been ordered to pay restitution in the case.
In a plea agreement, the woman, identified as Melissa Hauk of Scurry, Texas, pled guilty to theft over $20,000 and under $100,000 and was placed on 10 years deferred adjudication probation in Kaufman County's 422nd District Court. Because the victim was elderly, the theft charge was enhanced from a second-degree felony to a third-degree felony.
In April 2019, Hauk hacked into one of the elderly victim's friend's Facebook accounts and approached the victim with an investment opportunity, or "grant program," named the World Financial Empowerment, according to the Kaufman County Sheriff's Office. Hauk presented a number of "investment opportunities" which included a payment of $45,500 in exchange for a $750,000 grant.
The victim was instructed to send a cashier's check to Hauk's Scurry, Texas, residence.
Once Hauk received the victim's money, she would deposit it into a BitCoin machine believed to belong to a Nigerian-based criminal organization. Hauk kept several hundred dollars as payment for her role in the scheme.
In mid-April Kaufman County Sheriff's Investigators obtained a search warrant for Hauk's property and seized various financial documents, bitcoin receipts, and credit and gift card receipts. Additionally, investigators seized $4,688.94 in cash and a television Hauk admitted was bought with proceeds from the scam.
Hauk was arrested on April 15, 2019, and charged in the case. She pled guilty to the charge last month and ordered to pay the victim $45,500 in restitution. The cash seized from Hauk's residence will be awarded to the victim this week, according to the Kaufman County Sheriff's Office.