By Biodun Busari
A 70-year-old woman, Patricia Dudding has been sentenced to three months in prison for a fraud scheme involving Nigerian accounts.
According to a release published on the site of the Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of West Virginia, Dudding was also ordered by the court to pay a restitution fine of $1,788,589.24.
United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers imposed the sentence on Monday.
Dudding admitted in court that she used different pseudonyms to receive and send fraudulent funds through different accounts from different banks from May 2018 to July 2019.
She also admitted to defrauding one “Lucas Bennito Antonio” or “Lucas” on the internet as well.
Lucas was just one among many others located in the United States and abroad where she and unidentified co-conspirators, would then transfer the funds sent to them to bank accounts that were located in Nigeria.
Dudding confessed that she ultimately became more aware down the line that the activities and actions of the one person she scammed by the name of “Lucas” was not legitimate.
It became clear that employees at various banks questioned her transaction history, which led them to be closed for fraudulent activity.
She then started lying to the banks saying that her wired transactions were for legitimate reasons.
On April 26, 2019, Dudding sent a transfer of $39,000 from one of her many accounts to an individual in Montana.
When questioned once again by another employee, she lied about the original wire fund to Lucas, so she could get the Montana transfer funds.
Dudding, who lives in Huntington, Indiana, also acknowledged to the fact that she used these funds for her own personal needs.
She paid utility bills, satellite bills, groceries, drug store items, gasoline, department store items, and restaurant meals. She also admitted to making numerous cash withdrawals for herself.
Dudding has been sentenced to three months in prison, which will be followed by three years of supervised release for scamming money from individuals with many of the victims being elderly.