WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Washington County, Tennessee Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) discussed arrests made in a scam investigation on Tuesday afternoon.

The sheriff’s office reports two people in New Jersey were arrested in relation to an alleged scam of a local elderly person.

According to the WCSO, Chinagorom Onwumere, 34, and Salma Abdalkareem, 27, both of New Jersey, were arrested in relation to an extortion scam.

Onwumere and Abdalkareem are each charged with the following:

  • 3 counts of extortion
  • 3 counts of financial exploitation of an elderly/vulnerable person
  • 2 counts of theft over $60,000
  • 2 counts of criminal impersonation

The sheriff’s office reports investigators were alerted to the scam late in October after the victim sent multiple gift cards and checks totaling $87,500 to the suspects. The WCSO stated in a release that Onwumere and Abdalkareem made threats to the victim and the victim’s family over email.

In total, the sheriff’s office said the victim sent the suspects more than $100,000.

The sheriff’s office stated the Onwumere and Abdalkareem impersonated members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation when conducting the scam.

Investigators with the WCSO traced Onwumere and Abdalkareem to New Jersey and worked alongside the Piscataway Township Police Department in the execution of a search warrant at the home of the suspects. The suspects were arrested and charged with being fugitives from justice in New Jersey.

According to the sheriff’s office, both suspects waived extradition and were transported to the Washington County Detention Center. After appearing in court on Monday, a $500,000 bond was placed on each suspect.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 30, and the sheriff’s office said additional charges are pending in the investigation.