Darlene Aurelia Bishop
did not earn it legally.
Ms. Bishop, from Odessa, Texas, figured out a nifty way to commit fraud.
She ran several businesses, such as Ameritex Brokers, Paradize Funding and JonDar Enterprises, but it was her work as a broker for a company in Michigan called Apogee Financial that I found most interesting.
Apogee provided "leased funds" to their customers. These were bank accounts that a client could not withdraw money from, but would appear to belong to the client. Ms. Bishop and Apogee created fake "Proof of Fund" letters that falsely claimed that her clients had millions in the bank.
So if I so desired, I could appear to have millions of dollars in the bank, when actually I had no money at all.
Of course, desires like this aren’t free. In a fraudulent example of "it takes money to make money", in one case a client wired her $164,000 for false documents showing that he had $100 million sitting in the bank.
I could see how this might prove handy in various business deals, legal or otherwise.
That’s how Ms. Bishop earned herself $6 million in six months.
She was asked about some of these transactions:
BISHOP: "…I didn’t want to know because it wasn’t my business. I had nothing to do with that side of the transaction."
PROSECUTION: "You didn’t want to know?"
BISHOP: "No. I didn’t want to know because it had nothing to do with me."
PROSECUTION: "Well, safer not to know, right?"
BISHOP: "Well, yeah. Obviously."
She has pleaded guilty for conspiring to commit wire fraud.
Odessa Woman Pleads Guilty in Connection to a Complex and Sophisticated Fraud Scheme, NewsWest9>>