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Woman gets prison for 'Nigerian' scam

June 26, 2008 at 6:59 PM   |   Comments

TACOMA, Wash., June 26 (UPI) -- An Olympia, Wash., woman who pleaded guilty in a $1 million "Nigerian check scam" has been sentenced to two years in prison.

Edna Fiedler, 44, also drew five years probation following her plea in a Tacoma court to conspiracy to commit bank, wire and mail fraud, in what officials called a potentially ruinous plot to bilk naive people, the Seattle Times said.

Court documents indicate Fiedler made an Internet connection with a man who shipped counterfeit checks and money orders to her from Lagos, Nigeria, last November with instructions on how to fill out the checks and where to ship them.

People targeted in the scam apparently believed they were helping someone overseas, prosecutors said. They reportedly were told to cash the bogus checks and money orders and return a portion of the proceeds -- but once the checks were found to be phony, those who cashed them were responsible for the full amount.

Federal police and prosecutors said Fiedler had shipped out $609,000 in bad check and money orders when arrested and was preparing to send an additional $1.1 million in counterfeit material.

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