UPDATE: Russell Co. woman gets probation in wire fraud case


A Russell County, Virginia woman arrested in January for receiving thousands of dollars from another person's tax refund then sending it to what she thought was a boyfriend in Africa received her sentence in federal court Thursday.

Deborah Diana Lawson, 60, of Raven, was ordered to pay back more than $7,000 and was placed on three years probation by Judge James Jones.

Lawson waived her indictment in February and pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, according to court documents.

She admitted to working with a co-conspirator to steal a Colorado resident's refund and then wiring that money to an account in Buffalo, New York. Prosecutors said Lawson said the money was sent to a person posing as a U.S. Navy sailor in Nigeria.

Other evidence presented showed Lawson also sent the person $30,000 from her personal savings over a six-month period.

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