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Penn Hills woman charged with $819K fraud

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Friday, April 15, 2011

A Penn Hills woman who told four investors that she had “turned hundreds of thousands to millions” instead turned their money into her private piggy bank, prosecutors say.

A federal grand jury Thursday indicted Rochelle Johnson, 33, on one count of mail fraud and seven counts of wire fraud for allegedly coaxing the investors to give her $819,911 that was supposed to help them obtain financing for their companies.

Johnson paid out $230,000 to third parties and kept the rest of the money herself, prosecutors say.

Her website, , solicits companies to make “donations” to Source National's nonprofit partner, Strive for Student Athletes, which purportedly will help 100 Pittsburgh student-athletes participate in a “Total Solution” program that is supposed to help them go to college. In return for the donations, the companies were to get business plans that would help them obtain funding or improve financial scores.

A question-and-answer section says the company can't provide any references because, “In the financing profession all transactions are treated with utmost confidentiality and kept that way even after completion. This is due to the liability laws and to avoid the mega-million-dollar lawsuits that the breaking of our confidentiality agreement in particular and our client's trust in us in general might initiate.”

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