Tacoma woman pleads guilty to stealing more than $600,000
SEATTLE (AP) — A 40-year-old Tacoma woman has pleaded guilty to wire fraud involving a scheme to defraud friends and acquaintances out of more than $600,000.
Sabrina Taylor admitted to lying about her health, employment status, and education to steal money from people who had offered to help her, said U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. She’s scheduled to be sentenced on October 7.
From 2013 to July 2019, Taylor convinced people to provide her with funds by claiming she needed to buy medicine for multiple sclerosis, pay tuition at the University of Washington, or bail her brother out of jail, Brown said.
In fact, Taylor didn’t have multiple sclerosis, wasn’t paying college tuition and didn’t have an incarcerated brother. Taylor used most of the funds to pay for luxuries including almost $60,000 for trips to Japan and Korea, nearly $38,000 for online purchases, more than $29,000 for clothing, and nearly $16,000 for make-up.
Taylor also made false claims about how she would repay loans, prosecutors said.
Taylor met some of the people she defrauded online, using shared interests like Japanese anime, comic books, or video games to establish a relationship. Taylor admitted stealing over $550,000 from one victim.
She faces up to 20 years in prison and must pay restitution.