SHERMAN, Texas – An Oklahoma mother and son have been sentenced for federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Cox today.
Lori Majors, 45, of Durant, Oklahoma, pleaded guilty on Dec. 13, 2019, to kidnapping and aiding and abetting and money laundering conspiracy and was sentenced to 480 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Amos L. Mazzant, III, on September 10, 2020.
Max Majors, 21, of Durant, Oklahoma, pleaded guilty on Dec. 12, 2019, to kidnapping and aiding and abetting and was sentenced to 240 months in federal prison by Judge Mazzant on September 10, 2020.
“The 20 and 40-year sentences in this case demonstrate how seriously federal law treats elder abuse,” said U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Cox. “Let this case serve as a warning, and hopefully a deterrent, to others who might seek to exploit or victimize our nation’s seniors.”
According to information presented in court, on April 15, 2018, Lori Majors did unlawfully and willfully combine, conspire and agreed to extort, kidnap or rob an 83-year-old victim, and demand ransom, and in committing or in furtherance of the commission of the offense traveled in interstate commerce from Texas to Colorado, and used a motor vehicle as a means, facility, and instrumentality of interstate commerce.
On or about March 29, 2018, Justin Majors, rented a vehicle from Sherman Enterprise Leasing Company and drove to Colorado Springs, Colorado along with Cheryl Ann Jordan with the intent to commit the robbery with other family members.
When Justin Majors and Cheryl Ann Jordan arrived in Colorado they met with other family members who were already in Colorado to finalize plans to rob the victim at her residence. They specifically discussed the plan to rob the victim with Lori Majors, Bryan Majors, Max Majors and Ashleigh Stonebarger. Each agreed to go forward with the plan and split the proceeds of the robbery.
On April 5, 2018, Justin Majors, Cheryl Ann Jordan and Max Majors went to the victim’s residence. Justin Majors and Max Majors entered the victim’s residence through an unlocked dog door. Cheryl Ann Jordan remained in the vehicle waiting for them to complete the robbery.
Justin Majors and Max Majors went into the victim’s bedroom and found her asleep in bed. Justin Majors and Max Majors woke the victim and told her that they had her son tied-up and would hurt him if she did not tell them where the money was located.
The victim told Justin Majors and Max Majors that her money was located in a safe downstairs. Max Majors confined and extorted the victim as Justin Majors went downstairs to look for the safe and the money. Justin Majors located the safe downstairs and pried it open with a pry bar which he had brought to commit the robbery. Justin Majors removed over $350,000 from the safe. Max Majors moved the victim from her bed and confined her in the bathroom until they left the residence with the money. Justin Majors and Max Majors left the residence and split the proceeds from the robbery with Lori Majors and Bryan Majors. The robbery and extortion resulted in a loss of $500,500 to the elderly victim.
Lori and Max Majors were indicted by a federal grand jury on Feb. 6, 2019 and charged with federal kidnapping-related violations.
In October 2017, President Trump signed the bipartisan Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act (EAPPA) into law. The EAPPA’s purpose is to increase the federal government’s focus on preventing elder abuse and exploitation. Subsequently, the Department of Justice launched the Elder Justice Initiative (EJI). Through the EJI, the Department has participated in hundreds of criminal and civil enforcement actions involving misconduct that targeted vulnerable seniors. This past March, the Department announced the largest elder fraud enforcement action in American history, charging more than 400 defendants in a nationwide sweep. The Department has likewise conducted hundreds of trainings and outreach sessions across the country. The EJI website contains useful information, including educational resources about prevalent financial scams so you can guard against them.
If you or someone you know is age 60 or older and has been a victim of financial fraud, help is standing by at the National Elder Fraud Hotline: 1-833-FRAUD-11 (1-833-372-8311). This U.S. Department of Justice hotline, managed by the Office for Victims of Crime, is staffed by experienced professionals who provide personalized support to callers by assessing the needs of the victim, and identifying relevant next steps. Case managers will identify appropriate reporting agencies, provide information to callers to assist them in reporting, connect callers directly with appropriate agencies, and provide resources and referrals, on a case-by-case basis. Reporting is the first step. Reporting can help authorities identify those who commit fraud and reporting certain financial losses due to fraud as soon as possible can increase the likelihood of recovering losses. The hotline is staffed 7 days a week from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. eastern time. English, Spanish and other languages are available.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; El Paso County, Colorado Sheriff’s Office; Durant, Oklahoma Police Department; and the Sherman Police Department and prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas, Plano office.