BETHLEHEM, N.Y. -- After an investigation into a sweepstakes scheme, the Bethlehem Police Department arrested 55-year-old Hopeton G. Labeach, of White Plains, after discovering that he had been involved schemes against elderly people for approximately two years.
The initial investigation began after Labeach contacted an 89-year-old Selkirk resident by phone and told the victim that they had won a sweepstakes. He told the victim that as a result of winning the sweepstakes, they should send money to an address in White Plains, New York.
Police then discovered that Labeach was not only the person who had contacted the victim, but he was also using some of the money he had obtained for personal use and sending the rest of the money out of the country.
Police say Labeach is also wanted by the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office in Carrollton, Georgia for felony Theft by Taking in the same scheme. He has also been charged as being a Fugitive from Justice.
He has been charged with a felony count of Grand Larceny in the 3rd degree under New York State’s Hate Crime statute for intentionally targeting the elderly, as well as felony counts of Money Laundering in the 4th degree and Scheme to Defraud in the 1st degree.
Labeach was arraigned in Bethlehem Town Court and remanded to the Albany County Jail without bail. He is due back in Bethlehem Town Court for a preliminary hearing at 5:30 p.m. on July 9. Anyone who may have sent money to Labeach as a result of this fake sweepstakes scheme is asked to call Bethlehem Police Detectives at (518) 439-9973.