The scam involved the women placing pen pal ads in magazines and on the internet. When men responded, they would start a pen pal relationship and send the men a photo of an attractive woman they falsely claimed was them. Inevitably the women would ask the men for money. Various reasons would be given for needing the money such as needing to pay a lawyer or court costs. Often the women, who were not near being released, promised to live with or marry the men after release and said that they only needed the costs of their fine or relocation costs to be released. After receiving that money, they would then claim that new charges had been filed and continue the fraud.
Other prisoners sentenced to federal prison time and required to repay the amounts defrauded in the scheme include: Anna Connely who defrauded nine men of $11,600 received over two years; Yvette Stewart, 37, who received three months for defrauding men of $7,240; and Michelle Bradford, 39, who received 84 days and three years of supervised release for defrauding men of $9,919. The scheme was first started in March 1996, and ran until December 2003. All of the women indicted in the scheme were from Erie, Crawford and Lycoming counties.
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