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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Lackawanna County Woman Charged With Defrauding Credit Union

     The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that an indictment was returned by a grand jury charging Farah Laurent, age 30, of Scranton, Pennsylvania, with obtaining approximately $26,000 by fraud from the Tobyhanna Federal Credit Union in May through July of 2010. 

     According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, Laurent allegedly made fictitious credit card payments to the Tobyhanna Federal Credit Union by using either closed or invalid at other banks. 

     Laurent faces a maximum sentence up to 30 years in prison and fines in the amount of $500,000.

     The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the United States Secret Service.  Prosecution is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Olshefski.

     Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

     A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

     In this case, the maximum penalty under the federal statute is 30 years imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

Updated April 9, 2015