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76-Year-Old Woman Sentenced in Dealership Scam

December 17, 2004

ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. -– A 76-year-old woman was sentenced to three years in prison for crimes against dealerships in the suburbs of Chicago, said the Cook County (Ill.) state´s attorney´s office.

Betty Gooch, of Algonquin, Ill., pleaded guilty to one count of theft and admitted she wrote a bad check, reported the Associated Press. Gooch previously served jail time after pleading guilty in McHenry County Court to a felony charge of deceptive practice.

Prosecutors said she used her age to scam another dealership while she was free on bond in the first case.

According to the AP report, authorities allege that Gooch wrote bad checks to 10 dealerships in the area for 12 vehicles between July 2000 and March 2004.

She would negotiate a deal, write a check and then ask the dealership to wait several days to cash it so money could be transferred from her retirement account, authorities said. Then, Gooch would drive away in new vehicles that were eventually repossessed.

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