ANTELOPE VALLEY (CBSLA.com) — An Antelope Valley woman is accused of scamming seniors in a fraud scheme that promised they would star in big movie remakes like 1985’s “Cocoon” and 1981’s “On Golden Pond.”
KCAL9’s Rachel Kim reports Dena Peterman, 32, apparently picked those movies knowing they would be popular with older people.
According to court documents, Peterman and her cohorts tried the scam on as many as 50 seniors in Southern California and Oregon.
In order to be cast in the remakes, she told the victims she would need their Social Security numbers and other personal information.
Officials said Peterman would use the information to file fraudulent insurance claims in the victims’ names under bogus movie-production companies.
“Dena Peterman and co-conspirators were stealing victims’ identities and using those identities to file fraudulent insurance claims in those victims’ names,” said Kerry Quinn, assistant U.S. Attorney.
The estimated take by Peterman and co-horts is approximately $500,000 in a loss to California, said Quinn.
Kim spoke to seniors who can see why some of their contemporaries fell for the ploy.
“This is another chance to go out and do something that is going to outlast them on video,” said Joe Trujillo a La Mirada resident.
“Anything to get a littler more of that younger feel back would be wonderful,” said Margaret Barrows of Santa Clarita.
Federal prosecutors believe there are likely other victims out there.
If you are a victim or have information in this case, you’re asked to call the U.S. Attorney’s Office.