Bethlehem police arrested a White Plains man on Tuesday, July 9, on charges he stole money from an elderly town resident through a sweepstakes scam.
Police said an 89-year-old Selkirk resident was contacted by phone and told to send money to an address in White Plains as a result of winning the sweeptstakes. After an investigation, police arrested Hopeton G. Labeach, 55, who had allegedly been involved in similar sweeptstakes scams that specifically target the elderly for about two years. He had allegedly been keeping part of the money collected and sending the rest out of the country.
Labeach was charged with grand larceny in the third degree under New York’s hate crime statute since he allegedly was intentionally targeting the elderly. He was also charged with money laundering in the fourth degree and scheme to defraud in the first degree. All charges are felonies.
Police said Labeach was also found to be wanted by the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office in Carrollton, Ga. for felony theft by taking under similar circumstances. He was arraigned in Bethlehem Town Court and remanded to Albany County jail without bail. He is due back in court on July 9 for a preliminary hearing.
Police asked anyone who may have sent money to Labeach to call Bethlehem police at 439-9973.