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Press Release

Lafayette business owner sentenced to 10 years in prison for defrauding investors out of $2 million

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Louisiana

ALEXANDRIA, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that a Lafayette woman was sentenced Monday to 120 months in prison for defrauding investors out of more than $2 million.

Catherine Doucet Romero, 53, of Lafayette, La., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dee Drell on one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering. She was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $2,043,007 in restitution. According to the August 31, 2015 guilty plea, from March 2007 to July 2009, Romero convinced victims to invest by telling them that their money was going to be used to purchase a manufacturing facility and tannery for exotic skin products, to include alligator and stingray. Instead, Romero used the money to pay personal bills and expenses of an unrelated business. The amount stolen in the scheme is $2,043,007.

As noted by the Court at sentencing, Romero began the scheme shortly after being released from jail as a result of both a state and federal conviction for engaging in a different scheme to defraud in the early 1990s.

The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Luke Walker prosecuted the case.

Updated August 30, 2016

Financial Fraud
Securities, Commodities, & Investment Fraud