Metairie woman sentenced to 8 years in multi-state bank fraud scheme

Metairie woman sentenced to 8 years in multi-state bank fraud scheme

BATON ROUGE, LA - A Metairie woman was sentenced to 8 years in federal prison after being found guilty of defrauding over $137,000 in multiple states.

United States Attorney Walt Green announced on Friday, December 2, U.S. District Chief  Judge Brian A. Jackson sentenced 57-year-old Marsha Cole of Metairie, who also goes by Sandra McPherson, to 96 months in federal prison as a result of a bank fraud scheme across several states.

Cole pled guilty to 1 count of bank fraud and 1 count of aggravated identity theft. She embezzled over $137,000 from elderly victims' bank accounts, authorities say.

Cole admitted to obtaining personal identifiable information of her victims at a hearing in July 2016. At that hearing she also admitted to using the personal information to create fraudulent identification cards, which she used to access her victim's banks and withdraw funds.

She attempted to withdraw over $137,000 through over 31 attempted withdrawals from 21 different banks in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. Of the those attempts, she was able to successfully withdraw $103,482 from victim's accounts.

Cole also forged the signatures of all her victims to obtain these funds.

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In addition to prison time, Cole was ordered to pay $103,482 in restitution to her victims as well as a $200 special assessment, and 5 years of supervised release following her prison term.

Cole was prosecuted by the United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Louisiana. The investigation was conducted by the Baton Rouge Resident Office of the FBI, and the Louisiana State Police.

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