Multiple people plead guilty to relative-in-jail phone scam

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say five more people from the Dubuque area have pleaded guilty to participation in a phone call scam.

The five entered the pleas over the past week in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids to one count of wire fraud. Prosecutors said in a news release Tuesday that the five are 34-year-old Paul Chase, 20-year-old Morgan Cornell, 23-year-old Payton McCarville, 32-year-old Tiffany Reynolds and 21-year-old Joshua Willis. Sentencing dates have not been set yet.

Prosecutors say the scheme consisted of phone calls to elderly people across the country, telling victims that relatives were jailed and that money should be wired to free them. All five admitted picking up the wire transfers.

Earlier this year five other people pleaded guilty in Cedar Rapids to similar or related charges.

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