A judge sentenced a Cincinnati woman to nearly five years in federal prison Wednesday for her role in a theft ring that defrauded retail stores, including some in Fayette County, out of more than $200,000 worth of goods, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Kerry B. Harvey.
Alysia R. Elliott, 29, was sentenced to 57 months for her role in a scheme in which she and nine others passed bad checks at Wal-Mart, Kohl's, Target and Meijer stores in Fayette, Jefferson, Boone and Campbell counties in Kentucky and also in 14 other states.
Some members of the fraud ring returned merchandise for cash at different stores than the ones where they bought items.
Members of the conspiracy persuaded clerks to process the worthless checks as traveler's checks to avoid normal security procedures, according to the news release.
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People involved in the ring also stole checks from people and used them to buy goods.
The conspiracy lasted from February 2008 through December 2010. Nine of the 10 people charged in the case were from Cincinnati, and the other was from Northern Kentucky, the news release said.
Elliott admitted that she recruited people to join the theft ring and trained them. She also passed a large number of bad checks herself, according to Harvey's office.
Victoria Conlon, 28, and John C. Elliott, 29, who led the conspiracy, are to be sentenced in November. They face up to 20 years in prison.
Melissa J. Carter, 34, was sentenced to 37 months in the case earlier this month.
The others charged in the case are Mary D. Wilder, Melinda S. Davidson, Breanne E. Reilley, Troy J. Watts, Curtis J. Jordan and Morgan E. Stone.
Of the 10 people charged in the case, only Jordan, of Northern Kentucky, has not pleaded guilty, according to Harvey's office.