LAFAYETTE, La. (The Daily Advertiser) – A Lafayette woman is back in prison after she took millions from investors who she told were putting money into a fake start-up business selling alligator and stingray skin.
United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced in a news release that Catherine Doucet Romero, 53, was sentenced Monday to 120 months in prison for defrauding investors out of more than $2 million. U.S. District Judge Dee Drell sentenced Romero on one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering.
According to Romero’s guilty plea, from March 2007 to July 2009, Romero convinced victims to invest by telling them that their money was going to be used to purchase a manufacturing facility and tannery for exotic skin products, to include alligator and stingray. Instead, Romero used the money to pay personal bills and expenses of an unrelated business.
She was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $2,043,007 – the amount Romero received from her investors- in restitution. Romero began the scheme shortly after being released from jail as a result of both a state and federal conviction for engaging in a different scheme to defraud in the early 1990s.