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Tustin Woman Bilked Nuns Out of Over $250K

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Photo by NJ Tech Teacher via Flickr
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How do you solve a problem like fraud? Thanks to the FBI, the cause of the problem for a group of nuns bilked of over a quarter million dollars, has surrendered, according to the Department of Justice. Linda Rose Gagnon, 57, of Tustin, is accused of three counts of wire fraud. The injured party is the U.S. Province of the Religious of Jesus and Mary, Inc., a congregation of Roman Catholic Sisters.Gagnon was indicted last Wednesday. She is accused of defrauding the nuns after meeting them at their Rhode Island convent, and claimed she could help the sisters with a real estate purchase in San Diego. "Armed with a bogus letter that appeared to be from a California attorney, Gagnon convinced the nuns to wire $285,000 from their retirement account to be used in the purchase of the property," explains the DOJ.

However, Gagnon did not make the property purchase, but instead allegedly "used the money to pay for personal expenses, including pet sitting, lingerie, car payments and purchases at retail outlets."

Should Gagnon be convicted on all three counts, she could be sentenced to a statutory maximum of 60 years in federal prison.