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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Portland Woman Sentenced for Bank Fraud

Contact: Halsey B. Frank
Assistant United States Attorney
Tel: (207) 780-3257

Portland, Maine: United States Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II announced that
Sharon Conley, 56, of Portland, Maine, was sentenced by United States District Judge D. Brock
Hornby to 3 years imprisonment, 3 years supervised release and $72,282.03 restitution for one
count of wire fraud, one count of mail fraud, one count of Social Security fraud and one count of
aggravated identity theft. Conley pleaded guilty on April 3, 2014.

According to court documents, Paul Bridges and Susan Winslow lived on Peaks Island
where Paul Bridges owned and operated a handyman business called “Call Paul” which provided
repair services to the residents of Peaks Island. In about 2005, Bridges employed their friend and
neighbor on Peaks Island, Sharon Conley, as a contract cleaner for Call Paul, and later, as a
bookkeeper for Call Paul. In this way, Conley gained access and control of Bridges’ and
Winslow’s personal and business information and financial accounts.

In November of 2009, without Susan Winslow’s knowledge or permission, Sharon
Conley obtained a Chase Bank credit card issued in Susan Winslow’s name. In order to do so,
Conley pretended to be Winslow and provided Chase Bank with Winslow’s identifying
information including Winslow’s date of birth, Social Security number, and mother’s maiden
name in order to confirm her identity. Conley used the card to purchase personal items for
herself and to pay bills such as her monthly telephone bill. Between about February 2010 until
about October of 2010 when Paul Bridges and Susan Winslow discovered Conley’s fraud and
confronted Conley about it, Conley made approximately $15,585 worth of unauthorized,
personal purchases using the Chase Bank credit card.

At sentencing, the government presented information that Conley also made unauthorized
use of other Call Paul business accounts, Susan Winslow’s personal bank account, a home equity
line of credit on the Bridges/Winslow home, and of US Air Mastercard convenience
checks. Conley also double-billed one of Call Paul’s customers.

In pronouncing sentence, Judge Hornby observed that, sadly, the court has been seeing
more case of financial fraud, some in banks; others in small businesses. Such cases cause a
serious breach of trust. They affect the social fabric of a community and cause divisions,
especially on a small island such as Peaks. He affirmed that the evidence made clear that the
defendant was guilty, and that any belief that she was an innocent person railroaded was
mistaken.

The case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service and Portland
Police Department.

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Updated January 26, 2015