HARTFORD - A Bristol woman on Monday was sentenced to 60 months in prison for her role in an IRS scheme that defrauded more than 500 people out of over half a million dollars.
Nancy Frye, 51, was handed down the sentence in federal court in Hartford, where she was ordered to pay $585,321 in restitution. In June, she pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
In May, Douglas Martin, 53, an accomplice, also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
According to officials from the United States Attorney’s Office, Martin was recruited by his then-girlfriend, Frye, in January 2016 and participated in the scheme until May of that year.
Frye was asked to participate in the plan in October 2015 by individuals who instructed her to pick up money, which had been wired through MoneyGram and Western Union, and deposit it into specific bank accounts. The money - about $588,000 - had come from about 547 victims in the United States and Canada between October 2015 and May 2016, federal officials said.
Federal officials said the scam involved individuals making unsolicited phone calls and claiming that the person on the other end of the line had owed the IRS money, saying it must be paid immediately. Those posing as IRS agents threatened the victims with arrest or a lawsuit if they didn’t immediately wire them money.
It is not clear if any individuals responsible for making the calls have been charged, as Frye and Martin were only responsible for moving money gained from the illegal scheme.
Frye is free on bond and has been ordered to begin her prison sentence, which will be followed by three years of supervised release, on Jan. 8.
Martin is also free on bond and is scheduled to begin his prison term on Jan. 4. He has been ordered to pay $279,881 in restitution for his role in the scam.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or email@example.com. Follow Justin Muszynski on Twitter@muszynskiBP.