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57 months for Pa. woman convicted of wire fraud

It is no secret that state and federal authorities have been devoting a great deal of their resources and attention to white collar crimes and financial crimes. Often, these crimes involve the accusation of some type of fraud, and federal fraud charges carry the potential of serious sentences. Because federal criminal charges are serious in nature, defending against these charges requires serious legal representation.

Recently, a 48-year-old Pennsylvania woman was sentenced to nearly five years in prison following her conviction in a case of wire fraud.

The Mount Joy woman was accused stealing money from a real estate closing company that she co-owned. Testimony suggested that between 2005 and 2007, she siphoned off over $273,000, and that money was supposed to be used to pay off mortgages. Another company eventually had to spend $258,894 to clear the mortgages on the properties.

Evidence produced at trial indicated that while wiring $18,000 a month in mortgage payments to a Texas lending company, the woman also spent $22,500 on a real estate agency franchise. Her personal checking account showed deposits of $142,691 in diverted money. Allegedly, she forged signatures on checks that she made payable to herself and made other checks payable to cash.

The FBI was involved in the investigation of the case. After a three-day trial and a three-hour jury deliberation, the defendant was found guilty of wire fraud, but the she was acquitted of four related charges of unlawful monetary transactions. The judge ruled that the convicted woman will be required to pay $258,894 in restitution and that she will be incarcerated for 57 months. The judge also ordered three years of supervised release following her release from federal prison. She will begin serving her sentence on June 21, 2011.

Source: Westmoreland Times, "Woman sentenced for wire fraud," 5/26/2011

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