Former Real Estate Agent Sentenced to Prison for Wire Fraud and Money Laundering

Sarah Nicole Kelley, 41, of Coolidge, Arizona, was sentenced last week by U.S. District Judge John J. Tuchi to 46 months in prison and ordered to pay $190,774.64 in restitution.

Kelley was found guilty of 24 counts of wire fraud and 8 counts of money laundering by a federal jury in October 2021.

The evidence at trial showed that Kelley defrauded a family friend out of $185,000 in savings. Kelley, a former real estate agent, convinced the victim to invest in a real estate project and send additional money for a short-term loan. Instead of using the money as promised, Kelley used the victim’s savings to pay off her own debts.

Kelley then strung the victim along for months with a series of lies and excuses about how the money was spent and when the victim would get it back.

At sentencing, the Court found that Kelley previously defrauded another family friend out of $647,000 using similar tactics. The Court also found that Kelley provided false testimony under oath when seeking to overturn the jury’s guilty verdict.