SHERMAN, Texas – U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Cox announced Sept. 17 that a Durant mother and her son have been sentenced for federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas.
Lori Majors, 45, pleaded guilty on Dec. 13, 2019, to kidnapping and aiding and abetting and money laundering conspiracy. She was sentenced Sept. 10 to 480 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Amos L. Mazzant, III.
Max Majors, 21, also of Durant, pleaded guilty on Dec. 12, 2019, to kidnapping and aiding and abetting. He was also sentenced Sept. 10 to 240 months in federal prison by Mazzant.
"The 20- and 40-year sentences in this case demonstrate how seriously federal law treats elder abuse," Cox said. "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 unlawfully and willfully combined, conspired and agreed to extort, kidnap or rob an 83-year-old victim and demand ransom.
In committing or furtherance of the commission of the offense, Lori Majors traveled in interstate commerce from Texas to Colorado, and used a motor vehicle as a means, facility and instrumentality of interstate commerce.
Justin Majors, on or about March 29, 2018, rented a vehicle from Sherman Enterprise Leasing Company in Sherman, Texas, and drove to Colorado Springs, Colorado, with a woman named Cheryl Ann Jordan with the intent to commit the robbery with other family members.
After arriving in Colorado, Justin Majors and Jordan met with relatives who were already there and finalized plans to rob the victim at her home with Lori Majors, Bryan Majors, Max Majors and Ashleigh Stonebarger, each of whom agreed to move forward with the plan and split the proceeds of the robbery.
On April 5, 2018, Justin Majors, Max Majors and Jordan went to the victim’s residence, which Justin and Max Majors entered through an unlocked dog door. Jordan remained in the vehicle waiting for the men to complete the robbery.
Justin and Max Majors found the victim asleep in bed, woke her, said that they had her son tied up and would hurt him if she did not tell them where her money was located.
The victim told the Majors that there was money in a downstairs safe.
Max Majors confined and extorted the victim as Justin Majors went downstairs to look for the safe, which he pried open with a pry bar that he had brought, before removing over $350,000 from it.
Max Majors kept the victim confined in a bathroom until he and Justin Majors left the residence with the money.
The two men 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 into law the bipartisan Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act, the purpose of which is to increase the federal government’s focus on preventing elder abuse and exploitation.
The Department of Justice also launched the Elder Justice Initiative, through which it has participated in hundreds of criminal and civil enforcement actions involving misconduct that targeted vulnerable seniors.
In March of this year, the department announced the largest elder fraud enforcement action in U.S. history, in which more than 400 defendants in a nationwide sweep were charged. The department has also conducted hundreds of training and outreach sessions across the country.
The Majors’ case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; El Paso County, Colorado Sheriff’s Office; Durant Police Department; and the Sherman Police Department. It was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas in Plano.