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Houston mother-son duo accused of conspiring in scheme, stealing more than $1M from seniors

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — The FBI needs your help in finding a Houston woman who allegedly pretended to be a nurse while bilking seniors out of millions of dollars.

Regina Thomas and her son, Isaiah Thomas, are both facing a mountain of wire fraud charges. The younger Thomas has already appeared in federal court and is out on bond. However, Regina, the mother, is nowhere to be found. The FBI Houston office is now offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to her return.

“We need help locating her. That’s why we’re offering this $10,000 reward,” Assistant Special Agent in Charge Heath Janke said. “It’s actually the first time in Houston we can remember offering a reward for an elder fraud case.”

On Wednesday, ABC13 called Regina’s son, who picked up the phone, confirming he is facing federal charges.

Federal prosecutors allege that the mother-son duo conspired in a scheme and stole more than $1 million from an older couple in the years following Hurricane Harvey. Prosecutors say Regina Thomas presented herself to an older Houston couple as a nurse around the time Hurricane Harvey hit. She then took care of the couple’s elderly mother for some time as the couple repaired their flooded home.

As a thank-you for her work, the couple allowed Regina Thomas to stay in their west Houston home while they lived out of the country. Prosecutors say Regina Thomas then lied to the couple, telling them that law enforcement came to their house, saying there was a warrant out for their arrest for alleged FEMA fraud. Prosecutors say she then allegedly presented her son, Isaiah, as a lawyer who could help the couple.

“Did you pretend to be a lawyer?” ABC13’s Miya Shay asked Isaiah over the phone.

“No, I did not,” he said.

In court documents, prosecutors say the couple wired the Thomases more than 60 times, totaling more than $1 million, thinking they were paying for legal services.

“She is alleged to have used false names, occupations, and backstories to steal millions from senior citizens,” Janke said.

The feds said Regina’s not a nurse, and Isaiah is not a lawyer. They are investigating several other possible victims for potentially more charges. But their first priority is finding Regina, and her son told ABC13 he can’t help.

“They sent out a press release asking to look for your mother. Do you know where your mother might be?” Shay asked.

“I do not,” he responded.

“When was the last time you talked to her?”

“I don’t know, it’s over a year and a half,” he answered.

If you know where Regina Thomas, also known as Nikki Laday, you’re urged to call the Houston FBI.

This story comes from our news partner ABC13 Houston