(Orange, Texas)

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January 10, 2013

West Texas woman guilty in nearly $5.9M fraud

MIDLAND, Texas — A West Texas woman has pleaded guilty in a nearly $5.9 million investment scam using fake bank documents to inflate a person's net worth on paper.

Prosecutors in Midland say 41-year-old Darlene Aurelia Bishop of Odessa on Wednesday pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Bishop faces up to 20 years in prison when she's sentenced in March.

Prosecutors say Bishop operated several businesses with schemes meant to enhance credit by allowing people to rent or lease someone else's bank account. Investigators say the goal was to falsely boost a person's apparent net worth. The scam operated from July 2008 through March 2009.

Bishop used investment money to buy several large vehicles and a $672,000 house. She must forfeit the vehicles and money received from the home sale.

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