News Column

Cordova attorney took $200,000 from victims

May 1, 2014

By Samantha Bryson, The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn.



May 01--A Cordova real estate attorney who conducted an elaborate loan scheme to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from her victims was also throwing large charity events, buying a vacation home worth $725,000 and enjoying her yacht during the three-year period of the crimes.

These are a few of the details used by federal prosecutors during a sentencing hearing Tuesday to outline the lavish life that Sharon K. Anderson enjoyed at the expense of her victims.

Anderson, 51, pleaded guilty to stealing from her clients' trusts accounts in December 2012, according to U.S. Atty. Edward Stanton. She was sentenced to 20 months in prison and three years of supervised release.

As part of her plea agreement, prosecutors dropped charges stemming from a separate bank fraud indictment handed down in January 2013.

Anderson stole almost $200,000 from two victims between August 2010 and September 2011 by making them believe they were issuing short term loans as part of a property investment for buyers who never existed.

The entire scenario described to the victims by Anderson was a ruse, and she was the only person buying properties. She bought two condos, one of which cost $499,500, as well as a a waterfront home worth $725,000, all in the Alabama resort town of Orange Beach.

Anderson engaged in email exchanges with her victims for roughly three years, giving them excuses about why she had yet to give them their money back. As one of her victims began connecting the dots in her scheme, Anderson replied that she should "take a breath" and continually assured her money was on the way.

One of the victims told a judge Tuesday that $50,000 of the money Anderson took actually belonged to her mother, who had to enter a nursing home. Despite telling Anderson of her mother's circumstances, the victim told the judge it took another 15 months to get part of her money back and that Anderson gave her that only because she'd threatened to take action over a bounced check.

Anderson, who received a law license in 1991, will be disbarred.

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(c)2014 The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.)

Visit The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.) at www.commercialappeal.com

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Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)


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