September 13, 2004
San Francisco police arrested a man and a woman in connection with a financial scam that could have resulted in the loss of $41,000 perpetrated against an 89-year-old woman. In the scam known as the Jamaican switch, the two suspects approached the Daly City woman at the Serramonte Shopping Mall, telling her that she could help the pair collect a large inheritance settlement if she would provide them with what is known as “good faith” money. Once the victim provides this money, the victim’s “share” after the suspects vanish is play money or shredded newspaper.
In this incident, the victim went to two banks to try to withdraw the total amount of money the suspects wanted, but tellers only allowed her a total of $8,000 but issued a check for the remaining amount. At a San Francisco check cashing business, the clerk alerted police when the clerk’s suspicions were aroused by seeing one of the suspects lingering near the woman. Police responded and took one of the suspects, Glen Kinniebrew, 43, of Seattle, Washington, into custody.
Questioning of Kinniebrew led to the whereabouts of the second suspect at a motel in Oakland, where police arrested Carolyn Bilal, 54, also of Seattle. Police recovered about $8,000 in cash that Bilal had concealed upon her person. The third suspect is still at large.
The Jamaican switch is one of many scams used against persons, particularly the elderly, often resulting in the wiping out of life savings.
For more information, please contact:
Lieutenant Kenwade Lee
850 Bryant Street, Room 549, San Francisco, CA. 94103