Archive for Thursday, May 18, 2006

Tonganoxie woman returns to prison

Several victims are from Basehor

May 18, 2006

A Tonganoxie woman has been sentenced -- for a second time -- in connection with a scheme in which she defrauded her friends and relatives.

Carla Jean Meyer Senger, 37, is back in prison, after Leavenworth County District Judge Frederick Stewart sentenced her to 24 months in custody. Senger already had served 469 days in prison, so prosecutors estimate she will be released in late September.

Last month, Senger entered a no-contest plea to securities fraud and felony theft charges.

The state securities commissioner originally had charged the 1986 Tonganoxie High School graduate with 33 felony counts, stemming from allegations that she was running a $1.2 million Ponzi scheme. Several of the people who were bilked are from Basehor.

In a Ponzi scheme, early investors in a venture are paid with investments from later investors.

In September 2004, Senger pled guilty to three felonies and a few months later was sentenced to prison. She started serving her 3-year sentence immediately.

But last fall, she asked to withdraw her guilty plea, citing problems with her attorney and problems with her sentencing. She withdrew the plea and was released from prison in February.

In an agreement with prosecutors, Senger agreed to repay five investors -- former friends and family members -- a total of $465,287.

As part of that agreement, prosecutors recommend Senger be sentenced to 18 months on the securities fraud charge and six months on the theft charge. The judge ruled those sentences be served consecutive to each other.

Gail Bright, associate general counsel in the securities commissioner's office, said it's likely Senger would be released in late September.

In 2004, before Senger was sentenced, family members and friends testified she had victimized them, stole their money and lied incessantly.

The five witnesses who testified at the hearing said they believed they were investing in legitimate stocks.

But they had difficulty collecting profits that Senger told them they'd made.

At the most recent sentencing, two of those family members testified again.

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