Berlin Woman Sentenced To 46 Months For Mail Fraud
CONCORD, NH - Joan R. Laplante, a 66-year-old resident of Berlin, New Hampshire, has been sentenced to 46 months in prison.
A former resident of Pembroke, New Hampshire, Laplante was found guilty of mail fraud at the conclusion of a five-day jury trial in United States District Court last February.
Laplante owned and operated JRL Business Resources, LLC, a business that collected money on account receivables it purchased at discounted prices from 1996 to 2002. Laplante’s business discontinued legitimate business activity, also known as “factoring,” in approximately December 2002. During the ensuing four-year period, however, Laplante obtained loans, totaling more than $2 million, from a number of people by falsely promising them that their loans would be used to “factor.” As a further inducement, Laplante promised to repay the loans at unusually high rates of interest, usually 12 to 18 percent, compounded annually. Instead, in Ponzi-like fashion, Laplante used the lenders’ money to repay loans that had been previously been made to her business. When the scheme was exposed, Laplante owed more than $880,000 to people who had loaned money to her business.
The case was investigated by the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Postal Inspection Service and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Bob Kinsella.