25-Year Prison Sentence for Fraudster
Sep 23, 2022
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution secured a 25-year prison sentence for a woman who ripped off eight Florida seniors, including a retired police officer. A jury found Susan Anderson guilty of conducting identity theft and fraudulent schemes, stealing nearly $2 million from family and friends. At the sentencing, the Honorable Judge Steven Toner noted that the facts of the case were some of the most horrific that have ever been presented in his courtroom.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “This woman lied about having terminal cancer and forced her family to beg for money from friends to help pay for treatment she didn’t need and never received. Her lies convinced eight Florida seniors to deplete their life savings in order to help her. These are appalling crimes, but thanks to my Office of Statewide Prosecution, she will now serve 25 years behind bars for ripping off Florida seniors.”
Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Mark Glass said, “This is one of the most egregious fraud cases our agents have ever investigated at FDLE. Anderson’s compulsive lying, lack of remorse and scheming behavior hurt her own family and friends and led her to a lengthy prison sentence. I thank our agents for their great investigative work on this case and AG Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution for ensuring this suspect spends a long time behind bars.”
According to an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Anderson used multiple schemes from May 2017 to August 2020 to defraud family and friends—stopping only when incarcerated on unrelated charges. Victims testified to losing all life savings to the schemes. Some victims could not pay for utility bills, including electricity and water—even having to borrow buckets of water from neighbors to fill toilets.
The first scheme involved Anderson convincing her parents that an identity thief targeted the family business, supposedly causing the need to hire a trusted local Hillsborough County attorney to solve the problem. Anderson tricked the victims into paying large sums of money by fabricating emails from the attorney, creating fraudulent court documents, clerk of court receipts and acting as other official organizations, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Anderson also manufactured fraudulent emails from a doctor claiming to diagnose Anderson with terminal cancer. She then asked her family to help pay for the chemotherapy treatment. Once totally out of money, to the point of losing their house, the family begged neighbors and friends for money for the treatment. A doctor never diagnosed Anderson with cancer.
Following prosecution by Attorney General Moody’s OSP, Anderson pled open to the following first-degree felonies, hoping for a better sentence from the court: one count of organized scheme to defraud, three counts of first-degree grand theft on persons 65 years of age or older and three counts of second-degree grand theft on persons 65 years of age or older. The judge sentenced Anderson to 25 years into the Florida Department of Corrections, followed by five years of probation.