News and Press Releases

Pittsburgh Woman Pleads Guilty To Mail Fraud Charge

September 29 , 2011

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of Pittsburgh pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of mail fraud, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Rochelle Johnson, 33, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Terrence F. McVerry.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that, from Nov. 20, 2008 until May 2009, the defendant obtained $819,911 from four investors to obtain loans or leased funds, and failed to do so while paying out $230,000 to third parties and retaining or spending herself the remaining $589,911.

Judge McVerry scheduled sentencing for Feb. 3, 2012, at 10:45 a.m.  The law provides for a total sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, and 3 years supervised release. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court continued defendant's bond.

Assistant United States Attorney Leo M. Dillon is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The United States Postal Inspection Service and the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office Investigations Unit conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Johnson.

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