News and Press Releases

Oakmont Woman Sentenced In Scheme To Defraud American Express

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 12, 2010

PITTSBURGH, Pa. ‑ A resident of Oakmont, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced in federal court to 5 years probation and ordered to pay more than $500,000 in restitution on her conviction of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

United States District Judge Nora Barry Fischer imposed the sentence on Susan Fawcett, 50, of Oakmont, Pennsylvania.

According to information presented to the court, Fawcett participated in a conspiracy, with other individuals, to defraud American Express.  Fawcett, at the direction of another co‑conspirator, opened a merchant account with American Express that permitted her to accept payments from customers through the use of their American Express cards.

Other co‑conspirators opened American Express business accounts. Fawcett then used her merchant account to process hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of purported charges from those American Express business accounts in which those businesses purported to pay Fawcett for goods and services with American Express cards that, in fact, Fawcett had not provided.  Fawcett provided false names to American Express to avoid internal control measures at American Express designed to prevent fraud, and created false invoices in an attempt to conceal the fraud.

Assistant United States Attorney Brendan T. Conway prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the United States Postal Inspection Service for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Fawcett.

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