HANCOCK COUNTY — The Texas woman who officials say scammed more than $1.2 million from a New Palestine man starting in 2020 made her initial appearance in Hancock County Circuit Court Monday afternoon.
Lorraine Marie Rew, 47, Ft. Worth, Texas, was arrest in Texas this past fall and extradited to the county this past weekend where she was placed in custody inside the Hancock County Jail. Judge Scott Sirk ordered she be held without bond until her initial appearance Monday. Sirk entered a not guilty plea on Rew’s behalf and set a $250,000 surety and a $25,000 cash bond as well as put a no contact order with the victim in place.
Rew has been charged with a Level 5 felony charge of corrupt business influence, and 10 different Level 6 felonies in a case opened in Hancock County Circuit Court Nov. 16.
According to a 25-page probable cause affidavit, Rew met and befriended a New Palestine man on a social media platform and started a relationship. Shortly after, officials say she began asking him for money. From Oct. 2020 through Feb. 2022, the man sent Rew cash numerous times, totaling approximately $1.2 million.
Rew, officials said in the affidavit, told the man she needed money for her heart medication and to pay medical bills for her daughter who she said had a serious condition requiring surgical procedures and expensive medications.
Rew also told the man she was required to pay the medical expenses upfront, due to an issue with the health insurance she had through her employer. The probable cause affidavit also states Rew told the man she would be reimbursed through her insurance company and would repay him.
The man told the investigator he provided Rew funds from his personal IRA, a mutual fund, checking and savings accounts, credit card advances and personal loans, the affidavit said. He used several different financial institutions for the cash transfers as well as the U.S. Postal Service, cashier’s checks, wire transfers and peer-to-peer cash transfer apps.
An investigation of the records indicated Rew instead used the money to finance her lifestyle, which included frequent visits to two casinos in Oklahoma. The investigation found over a two-year period, she visited the Durant casino 167 times. She visited the Thackerville facility 157 times over a six-month period.
The court granted several search warrants for USB devices and ordered Rew to appear in person for a pretrial conference set for Feb. 23. Rew was still listed as an inmate in the county jail Tuesday morning.