Lori Owen gets five years in federal prison for her role in a scam that stole from people led to believe they owed back taxes
TAMPA— A New Port Richey woman has been sentenced to more than five years in federal prison for her role in a telemarketing scam that netted more than $1.3 million from victims who believed they owed money to tax authorities.
Lori Owen, 50, will spend five years and three months in prison after pleading guilty in April. She was sentenced Thursday, July 15 in Tampa by U.S. District Judge Virginia Covington.
According to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, here’s what happened: Owen was working with a group that included her ex-husband David Owen and son Andrew Corrigan to collect money from victims who were tricked into believing they owed money to the Internal Revenue Service, Canadian tax authorities and other organizations.
The victims were told that if the debt wasn’t paid, they would be arrested, prosecuted and face other legal consequences.
Working with her son and ex-husband, they would then collect the money on behalf of the call centers, some of which were overseas, through various means. They would open bank accounts for victims to deposit money in, processes prepaid debit cards purchased through merchant accounts Lori Owen had opened and receive wire transfers and cashier checks.
While waiting for the money, victims were closely watched to make sure the money was sent before they realized they were being scammed or law enforcement could find out and stop the transaction.
The scam, according the U.S. Attorney’s office, ran from December 2014 through the end of 2016. Victims from across the country out of more than $1.38 million.
David Owen and Corrigan were convicted before Lori Owen pled guilty. David Owen was sentenced to 10 years and 10 months in federal prison. Corrigan was sentenced to 10 years.
In addition to her time in prison, Lori Owen, who also goes by Lori Corrigan, must pay victims $620,103 in restitution and a judgement was placed against her for $265,964.