A Monroe County woman has been sentenced to 18 months in prison, and has been ordered to pay over $600,000 in restitution for defrauding people in eastern Ohio and West Virginia, according to a press release.
Darlene Baldwin, 67, of Clarington, was sentenced on Monday in Monroe County Common Pleas Court.
According to the press release, Baldwin previously pleaded guilty to one count each of aggravated theft, attempted telecommunications fraud, and attempted money laundering.
Investigators say that Baldwin lied to people about needing money for various reasons. Some reasons including claiming she had a serious illness, or that she was at risk of losing her house.
Instead of paying them back like she reportedly promised, she wired the funds to other people, knowing the money would end up overseas with a man she had been communicating with online.
Baldwin has been ordered to pay $641,908 in restitution.
“Our goal was to stop the scam,” Attorney General DeWine said in the press release.
“The defendant knew she was taking advantage of people, but she kept doing it anyway. We take these cases seriously, and we appreciate the cooperation of our law enforcement partners in stopping these types of crimes.”
The Attorney General’s Economic Crimes Unit, along with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, investigated.
They were assisted by the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office and the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
If you suspect a scam, contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioProtects.org, or call 800-282-0515.