A former Kansas City woman who stole more than $400,000 from a Missouri Lottery winner was sentenced Wednesday to five years in federal prison.
Freya Pearson, 44, of Conyers, Ga., was ordered to repay $441,830 to the victim, a female 61-year-old former hospital housekeeper who won $2.4 million in the Missouri Lottery in 2008.
But because of Pearson's scheme, the lottery winner is now financially insolvent and had to take a reverse mortgage in order to keep her home, according to federal prosecutors.
After winning the lottery, the winner set money aside for taxes, bought houses for herself and a daughter and bought a car for another daughter.
She then established an annuity to provide about $30,000 a year for the rest of her life.
But Pearson, who now lives in Georgia, befriended the woman and convinced her she was a financial planner. Pearson persuaded the woman to transfer money to the bank account of a supposed non-profit she had set up.
Pearson spent at least $96,000 of the money on gambling, according to testimony.
She also spent $12,000 on travel, bought a Cadillac Escalade, a Pontiac Sunfire and a Chevrolet Tahoe, and spent money on restaurants, shopping and other personal expenses.
For about a year, Pearson made monthly payments of about $1,200 to the victim, before the payments ceased.
While taking the victim's money, Pearson applied for and received federal subsidized housing benefits. She also failed to pay taxes on the fraudulently obtained money.
The total loss attributed to Pearson was at least $640,667. The lottery winner was defrauded out of $441,830. Pearson also evaded $122,000 in federal income tax on money she obtained from the victim and obtained $76,837 in housing benefits.
Pearson went to trial in U.S. District Court in Kansas City last year and was found guilty of three counts of wire fraud, four counts of money laundering, one count of tax evasion and one count of making false statements to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Enjoy Fed prison you mean wench...fed prison=full sentence, no parole.
I just don't know what to say.
Horrible story. Especially with the winner being so deliberate with her winnings. Doesn't sound like she was being frivolous. But practical and reasonable and preparing for her future. Smart that she bought her house in full. I wish her the best. As far as that crook, shame on her!
Freya is cut from the same cloth as that evil woman Dee Dee Moore who had the FL lottery winner Mr Shakespeare murdered. Modern day jezebels.
Reading this story reminds me of Mr. Abraham Shakespeare and what that vile woman did. 5 years in prison is not long enough sorry POS.
Wouldn't the winner have been wiser to work with a wealth management team at a bank rather than someone she met after moving to another state? The thief needs to be locked up and made to pay restitution by selling whatever she bought with the winner's money.
with you zephbe. A bank would be a good place to begin. Banks also do their best to fight scams that are defrauding seniors who are trapped in lottery scams. Banks get a bad rap but most bank employees are very helpful. They do their best to be good members of the communities that they are doing business in.
Banks also have deep pockets in case you bring a lawsuit against one.
On top of taking money from the victim she also
obtained $76,837 in housing benefits.
How did they case workers not see that she was doing 'better' and didn't need the housing benefit? (or maybe never needed it?) I know they are trained to 'look' for signs of this, but they really MISSED it in this case.
That is not true
The Federal Prisons do chop off 15% of sentence with good behavior
You are required to serve at minimum 85% of your sentence
Wow, sounds like the kind of thief who can't stop thinking of ways to thieve! Lock her up, throw away the key.
There should be warnings from the lottery commissions about scammers like this when a someone wins big.
I agree it should be 20yrs.
Remember that story ......very sad :(
That's exactly , what I was thinking .
Wealth Management , keep in mind , they could
possibly do the same thing with your money .
Have a "yearly " audit !!! and an Print out .
Hire an "CPA "to keep tracked of your money
not counting the Wealth Management Team.
Theoretically this would seem sensible. However, there are credible financial professionals who do not work in banks. I have also known people who were not best served by bank's wealth management division.
The key question is how did she lead the lady to believe that investing in a non-profit would be profitable for her? Keyword: non-profit. I once had a pastor recommend that I move my investment holdings under church account with the promise that my principle would be repaid to me in an allotted time....I passed on doing anything of the sort.