A woman and two men have been sentenced in the US state of California to a 15 month jail term for their roles in a scheme that used fake letters of credit (L/Cs) to commit wire fraud.

Sharon Ringgenberg admitted to conspiring with co-defendants Craig Scott and Kenneth Taylor to sell fraudulent standby L/Cs and proof of funds statements.

False statements

Prosecutors said the statements falsely overstated the creditworthiness of the company the conspirators said they operated, Success Bullion, and showed financial balances that exceeded the company's assets.

The conspirators also falsely claimed the company was a subsidiary of a large Hong Kong financial institution.

Prosecutors said the fraudsters raised several million dollars including US$1 million brought in by Ringgenberg.


Ringgenberg received a 15 month jail term more than a year after she pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay US$705,000 in restitution to the victims.

Scott has been sentenced to a five year probationary period with a year of home confinement. He must pay back US$527,575 in restitution to his clients.

Taylor was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay back US$1.1 million to the Internal Revenue Service and US$90,000 to a victim.

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