FBI seeks Native American victims targeted by Phoenix group homes
PHOENIX, Ariz. — The FBI is seeking victims who may have been recruited to live in and receive services in group homes (Behavioral Health Residential Facilities) located in Phoenix, Arizona, between January 2020 to present.
Organizers are establishing group homes for adults with substance abuse and mental health issues throughout Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding valley area. Organizers are targeting Native Americans from the Navajo Nation and other reservations in Arizona, New Mexico and South Dakota. Organizers frequent community gathering locations such as flea markets, trading posts and medical centers to pick up clients.
In some cases, the targeted individuals are intoxicated or offered alcohol during transport. When the individuals regain a functional state in Phoenix (or other locations), they have no idea where they are or how they got there. The individuals then have difficulty finding a way home. The circumstances have led to a number of missing persons reports being received by local law enforcement agencies.
The organizers of the group homes are receiving government funding to provide tenants with therapy services for mental illness and substance abuse. The organizers have the tenants visit other facilities purporting to provide therapy services the entire day. Often, no therapy services are provided and thus no government funding should be received. The group homes and other facilities receiving government funds for the same services purportedly provided creates “double-dipping” of government funding.
The organizers allegedly tell the tenants that they have to change their identification cards (driver’s license, etc.) to Arizona to obtain Arizona Medicaid benefits (AHCCCS). The tenants are also told to obtain food stamps to provide food for the residents in a home or as rent payment to the organizers. The organizers use the current clients as recruiters for additional clients who often do not understand the circumstances they will be living in.
If you or a family member were recruited to a group home located in Phoenix, Arizona, during the time period listed above, please complete a brief questionnaire at forms.fbi.gov/phoenixgrouphomes. Your responses are voluntary but would be useful in the federal investigation and to identify you as a potential victim. Based on the responses provided, you may be contacted by the FBI and asked to provide additional information.
The FBI is legally mandated to identify victims of federal crimes that it investigates and provide these victims with information, assistance services, and resources.
Information provided by FBI.