Three sentenced for scheme that defrauded elderly of $16.6 million

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Three sentenced for scheme that defrauded elderly of $16.6 million
Three sentenced for scheme that defrauded elderly of $16.6 million

Three people who made more than $16 million after falsely telling older adults and others that the light-emitting medical devices they sold could safety and effectively treat diabetes, heart disease, emphysema, cancer and dozens of other medical conditions in their residences were sentenced on Friday, the Justice Department announced Monday.

Victims had paid $4,000 to $13,000 for the devices, the government previously said.

Robert “Larry” Lytle, 83, of Rapid City, SD, whom officials said led the scheme, received a prison sentence of 12 years, plus two years of supervised release. Lytle had pleaded guilty in January to one count of conspiracy to introduce misbranded medical devices into interstate commerce with the intent to defraud and mislead as well as one count of criminal contempt. He said he had obtained at least $16,669,015 from the scheme since 2005, acting part of the time in violation of a federal court order.

Ronald D. Weir Jr., 39, of Sioux Fall, SD, was sentenced to two years in prison, plus three years of supervised release. Irina Kossovskaia, 63, a resident of Canada, was sentenced to 15 months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release.

Weir and Kossovskaia, who operated “QLaser” distributorships, also previously had pleaded guilty, according to the Justice Department. Weir had been charged with one count of conspiracy to introduce misbranded medical devices into interstate commerce with the intent to defraud and mislead. Kossovskaia had been charged with mail fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy, contempt and obstruction of government proceedings.

A federal judge will issue a final restitution order within 90 days, the Justice Department said.

“These defendants were motivated by greed, and they targeted vulnerable people by giving them false hope while fleecing them,” U.S. Attorney Ron Parsons of the District of South Dakota said in a statement. “The sentences today should serve as a deterrent to anyone contemplating similar schemes.”

The government dismissed criminal contempt charges against a fourth person, Fredretta Eason, who was 76 when indicted in early 2017.

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