Holden Woman Convicted in Scheme to Steal Close to $1 Million from Elderly In-Laws
|U.S. Attorney’s Office August 08, 2014|
WORCESTER, MA—A Holden woman was convicted of wire fraud today after pleading guilty to charges that she stole close to $1 million from her elderly in-laws.
Chiao Fang Ku, 45, pleaded guilty before United States District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman to an Information charging her with wire fraud. Sentencing is scheduled for November 3.
After Ku’s father-in-law became ill in 2008, Ku offered to help her mother-in-law manage the couple’s finances. Ku was given access to her in-laws’ savings and investment accounts. She thereafter began siphoning funds from those accounts through online transfers, forged checks, and cash withdrawals, and used the money for on-line gambling activities and other personal uses. She also applied for—and received—credit cards in her mother-in-law’s name without authorization, and then used those cards for personal expenses. In total, Ku stole over $950,000 from her in-laws over a five-year period.
The maximum statutory sentence for wire fraud is 20 years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release and a fine of the greater of $250,00 or twice the gross gain or loss. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Shelly Binkowski, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Eric P. Christofferson of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.