XENIA, Ohio (WDTN) — A Xenia woman pleaded guilty in a case regarding a romance scam and a missing teenager.
Linda Matson, 61, of Xenia pleaded guilty to a charge of making false statements to a federal agent on Monday, according to a release.
On April 29, 2020, U.S. Postal Inspectors found that $50,000 had fallen from a package onto a conveyor belt and then later found $50,000 in another package. Both of the packages were found to be addressed to a post office box connected to a romance fraud scheme.
Inspectors contacted Matson, who admitted that she had been scammed into sending money to someone claiming to be in the U.S. Army.
On May 18, 2020, Matson sent texts to a postal inspector, claiming that she needed the money back immediately so that she could buy t-shirts and posters to help find her missing niece. She sent the inspector news stories and Facebook posts about the missing teen in an attempt to get the money quicker. Matson later admitted in her plea agreement that she intended to use the money for other reasons than what she told the inspector.
Matson’s charges carry a penalty of up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. She is scheduled to be sentenced on November 16.
The post office box related to the romance scam was found to be used by Bonmene Sibe, Ovuoke Frank Ofikoro as well as others. They were using the box in a scheme to have women send them money. Sibe was sentenced to five years and three months in prison and Ofikoro was sentenced to four years and two months in prison. Both men were ordered to repay $844,070 to the victims.