NEW PALESTINE, Ind. — A Fort Worth, Texas, woman is accused of scamming a New Palestine man out of more than $1 million over a 16-month period in which she lied to him about medical expenses but instead used the money he sent her to gamble at Oklahoma casinos.
According to Hancock County Prosecutor Brent Eaton, Lorraine Marie Rew, 46, was arrested in Texas on Nov. 16. She has been charged with one count of corrupt business influence, a Level 5 felony, and 10 counts of counterfeiting, all Level 6 felonies.
Court documents reveal that Rew met and befriended the New Palestine man on a social media platform and that the two began a relationship. From October 2020 through February 2022, Rew had the man send her approximately $1.2 million.
The man reportedly gathered the funds to send to Rew by drawing from his personal IRA, a mutual fund, checking and savings accounts, along with using cash advances and personal loans.
Rew reportedly had told the man that she needed the money in order to pay for her daughter’s serious surgical procedures and expensive medications along with heart medication for herself. Rew claimed she had to pay the costs upfront but that her insurance would reimburse her later and then she could repay the man. She even made fake email accounts pretending to be her employer and promised the man that reimbursement would be forthcoming.
A postal inspector found no record, however, of Rew using the money to pay for medical expenses and investigators learned that neither Rew nor her daughter had accounts with the hospital.
Instead, investigators discovered that Rew was using the money to finance her lifestyle, including frequenting casinos in Oklahoma. Over a two-year period, Rew visited one of the casinos 167 times and the other casino 157 times over a six-month period.
“Sadly, this is a case in which the victim’s heart was in the right place and the alleged perpetrator took advantage of that,” said Prosecutor Eaton.
Rew is currently in Tarrant County Jail in Texas but Eatan stated he has already filed paperwork to extradite Rew to Hancock County where she will face her charges.