Seattle – A 41-year-old Tacoma woman was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 27 months in prison for wire fraud for a scheme to defraud various friends and acquaintances of more than $600,000, announced U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. Sabrina Taylor lied about her health, her employment status, and her education to steal more than $600,000 from people who had offered to help her. At today’s sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez emphasized the serious nature of Taylor’s conduct, remarking that for years, Taylor engaged in a sustained and calculated course of conduct that preyed upon her victims’ best emotions. The Court remanded Taylor into custody at the close of the sentencing hearing.
According to records filed in the case, 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 treatment, 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 her 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.
In their victim impact statements those who were defrauded by Taylor described how they have suffered: One person cancelled plans to move to California; another had to put off buying a home; a third said a family member delayed retirement to help pay back what a victim had borrowed. Some were unable to help others in the community because they had assisted Taylor.
In his sentencing memo the prosecutor noted that Taylor was no novice when it came to fraud. “Taylor carried out an extensive fraud scheme using deceit and deception that preyed upon humankind’s better angels. Several of Taylor’s victims suffered substantial financial hardship—some likely will never be made whole financially. Equally as important, Taylor exploited and betrayed the trust of each of her victims and many of Taylor’s victims will continue to pay an emotional toll for many years to come,” Assistant United States Attorney Joe Silvio wrote in his sentencing memo.
Taylor was ordered to pay $608,975 in restitution to her victims.
The case was investigated by the FBI.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joseph Silvio.
Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Communications Director Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@usdoj.gov.