PITTSBURGH, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- A Pennsylvania woman was sentenced to 15 months in prison after fraudulently soliciting $600,000 in student loans mainly used to pay for cosmetic surgeries.
Meredith Shuster, 36, of Cranberry, Pa., a suburb north of Pittsburgh, used her parents' identities to solicit the loans. She then used about half the money on a series of cosmetic surgeries to alter her appearance, prosecutors said. The other half went toward myriad personal expenses, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Tuesday.
Shuster's lawyer argued she suffers from a condition called "body dysmorphic disorder" that caused her to feel compelled to constantly change her appearance.
Federal prosecutors said because nearly half the money went toward other expenses, the diagnosis wasn't relevant and Shuster deserved to serve prison time.
U.S. District Judge Mark Hornak ordered the prison term, $632,613 be paid to the federal government in restitution and a 5-year probationary period upon Shuster's release.
Shuster pleaded guilty to bank and mail fraud in April.