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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Washington

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 1, 2022

Tacoma woman pleads guilty to wire fraud for stealing more than $600,000 from friends and acquaintances

Defrauded those she met online with false claim about illness, tuition loans, or help for incarcerated family members

Seattle – A 40-year-old Tacoma woman pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to one count of wire fraud for a scheme to defraud various friends and acquaintances, announced U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. Sabrina Taylor admitted to lying about her health, employment status, and her education to steal more than $600,000 from people who had offered to help her. Taylor will be sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez on October 7, 2022.

Starting in 2013, and continuing into July 2019 and beyond, Taylor convinced various people to provide her with large amounts of money by claiming that she needed to purchase medicine for multiple sclerosis, pay her tuition for the University of Washington, or bail her brother out of jail. In fact, Taylor did not have multiple sclerosis, was not paying tuition to U.W., and did not have a brother in jail. Rather, Taylor used a substantial portion of the defrauded funds to pay for luxuries such as almost $60,000 for multiple trips to Japan and Korea, nearly $38,000 for online purchases from Amazon and Etsy, more than $29,000 for clothing, and nearly $16,000 for make-up.

Taylor also made false claims about how she was planning to repay loans, lying about her employment, a litigation settlement from a local bank, and funds she expected to receive from her parents.

Taylor met some of the people she defrauded online, using shared interests such as Japanese anime, comic books, or video games to establish a relationship. Taylor admitted to stealing over $550,000 from one victim.

Prosecutors agreed to recommend no more than 27 months in prison for Taylor.  However, Chief Judge Martinez is not bound by the recommendation and can impose any sentence up to the statutory maximum 20 years after considering the sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. Taylor will also pay restitution to her victims for the money she stole.

The case was investigated by the FBI.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joseph Silvio.

Topic(s): 
Cybercrime
Financial Fraud
Contact: 
Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Communications Director Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@usdoj.gov.
Updated July 1, 2022