News and Press Releases

Judge Sentences Pittsburgh Woman For Defrauding Investors

February 3, 2012

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of Pittsburgh, Pa., has been sentenced in federal court to five years probation, with six months community confinement and another six months home detention, on her conviction of mail fraud, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

United States District Judge Terrence F. McVerry imposed the sentence on Rochelle Johnson, 33.

According to information presented to the court, during the period from Nov. 20, 2008 until May of 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.

Prior to imposing sentence, Judge McVerry stated that Johnson's extraordinary family circumstances and laudable public service merited a downward variance from the Guidelines sentencing range specifying imprisonment; and that rarely had the Court encountered such a contrast between a defendant's crime and her prior life.

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

U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office Investigations Unit for the investigation leading to the prosecution of Johnson.

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