Rew sentenced after bilking $1.2 million from county man

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HANCOCK COUNTY — The Texas woman who officials say scammed more than $1.2 million from a New Palestine man starting in 2020 was sentenced for her crimes late last week in Hancock County Circuit Court via a plea agreement.

Lorraine Marie Rew, 48, Ft. Worth, Texas, had been charged with a Level 5 felony charge of corrupt business influence, and 10 different Level 6 felonies in a case opened in Circuit Court November of 2023.

Rew was sentenced Thursday, April 11 and according to the plea agreement had to admit guilt to the Level 5 felony and three of the Level 6 felonies under the notion a cap of four years would be set as the total sentence.

Rew was given a four-year term for the most serious charge to be served at the Indiana Department of Corrections (IDOC) with 422 days of jail credit for time served. The three other lesser crimes each called for a 545-day term with 422 days credit and are to run concurrent with the four-year term while seven other charges were dismissed.

Rew was taken into custody Thursday and was still listed as an inmate in the Hancock County Jail.

The plea agreement stated the court would not seek restitution in the case. Prosecutor Brent Eaton noted the ability of federal officials and or the financial institutions to recover the losses exceeds his offices’ ability to do so and those institutions are in the best position to pursue the money taken.

“The loss was technically from the financial institutions, not an individual, so they have much better and substantial resources to pursue that than we are able, especially considering the very large overall amount of money,” Eaton said. “There is no way that it would be paid during the criminal sentence.”

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 stated Rew told the man she would be reimbursed through her insurance company and would repay him.

The man told investigators 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 that she visited the Durant casino 167 times over a two-year period. She visited the Thackerville facility 157 times over a six-month period.