"Absolutely not guilty" is howLinda Rose Gagnon
pleaded this afternoon to three federal wire-fraud counts alleging she defrauded nuns out of $285,000.
The 57-year-old Tustin resident appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert N. Block, who set her bond at $10,000.
Trial is scheduled for May 3 before U.S. District Judge Andrew J. Guilford.ORIGINAL POST, MARCH 7, 1:43 P.M.:
Do you suppose there's an extra-special corner of H-E-Double-Matchsticks reserved for those who defraud nuns out of $285,000.
If so, and the charges against Linda Rose Gagnon stick, the 57-year-old Tustin resident may find herself there some day.
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She surrendered to FBI agents this morning after last week being indicted for allegedly defrauding the U.S. Province of the Religious of Jesus and Mary Inc. Gagnon was scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon.
According to the indictment, Gagnon runs Rose Enterprises Inc., a Tustin company that supposedly helps clients with delinquent mortgages and other real-estate transactions. Learning that nuns in the order were interested in buying property in San Diego, Gagnon apparently visited a Rhode Island convent where some of them reside to offer her assistance.
"Armed with a bogus letter that appeared to be from a California attorney, Gagnon convinced the nuns to wire $285,000 from their retirement account to be used in the purchase of the property," reads a statement from the U.S. Attorney's office in Los Angeles. "Instead of using the money to purchase the property for the nuns, the indictment alleges that Gagnon stole the money and used the money to pay for personal expenses, including pet sitting, lingerie, car payments and purchases at retail outlets."
Gagnon faces three wire-fraud counts and, if convicted, up to 60 years in federal prison. That should be just enough time to recite the required number of Hail, Marys for such a sin.