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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Alaska

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Anchorage School Teacher Charged With Defrauding Elderly Woman

Anchorage, Alaska – Acting U.S. Attorney Kevin R. Feldis announced today that an Anchorage woman has been charged with three counts of fraud and one count of identity theft.

Susanna Difranco, 52, of Anchorage, is charged in a four-count indictment with a scheme to defraud victim R.R. and steal her identity

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Aunnie Steward who presented the case to the grand jury, the Indictment charges that for approximately one month, from March 2015 to April 2015, Difranco wrote checks and made transfers and withdrawals from R.R.’s bank account for Difranco’s personal benefit for a total of over $70,000.  Difranco paid her personal credit card bill and her daughter’s college tuition, among other things, with R.R.’s money.  R.R. is 77 years old and was not aware that Difranco had gained access to her bank account and was stealing her money.   Difranco falsely told bank officials and others that she was helping to protect R.R.’s money from others who might steal it by moving it into a safety deposit box, when in fact she was stealing R.R.’s money and spending it for her personal benefit.  F

The law provides for a maximum sentence of 20 years’ incarceration and a $250,000 fine or both.  Under federal sentencing statutes, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

The United States Postal Inspection Service and the Anchorage Police Department together with the State of Alaska Office of Elder Fraud and Assistance conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in the case.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Identity Theft
Component(s): 
Updated July 23, 2015