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Justice News

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

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Stratford Woman Sentenced to 41 Months in Federal Prison for Role in 2 Fraud Schemes

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that on February 16, 2018, RACHAEL ALEXANDER, also known as Rachael Vierling, 40, of Stratford, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven to 41 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for participating in two fraud schemes.

According to court documents and statements made in court, the first scheme involved the theft of postal money orders.  ALEXANDER and her husband, Marc Anthony Alexander, devised a scheme to steal blocks of blank postal money orders from the U.S. Post Office in Old Greenwich.  The Alexanders and others then imprinted the money orders with various denominations using a computer font designed to make them appear to be authentic.  The Alexanders recruited Bernard Harris, of Bridgeport, into the scheme to organize others to cash the money orders, or deposit them into numerous bank accounts, either at an ATM or at a teller window.  Harris recruited at least five individuals and paid them a portion of the proceeds.  He then turned the bulk of the money over to the Alexanders.  The Alexanders compensated Harris by giving him additional money orders that he cashed and converted to his own use.

The loss from this scheme was $313,570.

The second scheme involved the fraudulent sale of financed vehicles.  In this scheme, the Alexanders took straw buyers to various car dealerships and had them fill out financing paperwork to buy high-end cars.  Typically, the Alexanders would take the car and the straw buyers would sign a power of attorney form to allow them to obtain a new title for it.  The Alexanders would then contact the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles and claim that the title had been lost and they needed a replacement title.  At the DMV, they would present a fake letter from the car financing company stating that the loan had been paid off in full.  After they received a new title, the Alexanders would sell the car to another dealer.  The original car loans were not paid and went into default.

The straw buyers financed more than $1 million in fraudulent car loans during the course of this scheme.

The investigation revealed that the Alexanders used the money they stole to acquire a large number of luxury goods.

Judge Arterton ordered Rachael Alexander to pay restitution in the total amount of $443,807.97.

Marc Alexander, Rachael Alexander and Bernard Harris were arrested on April 26, 2016.  

On January 17, 2017, Marc Alexander and Rachael Alexander each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud stemming from the postal money order scheme, and one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud stemming from the vehicle scheme.

On April 11, 2017, Marc Alexander was sentenced to 96 months of imprisonment.

Harris pleaded guilty to one to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud stemming from the postal money order scheme, and one count of wire fraud stemming from a separate fraudulent check scheme.  On January 16, 2018,  he was sentenced to 30 months of imprisonment.

Rachael Alexander, who is released on bond, was ordered to report to prison on April 18.

This investigation was conducted by the Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force¸ U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Secret Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Westport Police Department and Greenwich Police Department.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ray Miller.

Financial Fraud
Updated February 20, 2018