Monday, July 13, 2009

Kansas City Woman Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud in Staged Rape, Assault

Stage a sexual assault to increase the payout of a sexual harassment lawsuit. Nice. However, notice that she isn't charged in relation to falsely accusing someone of rape/sexual assault, but of wire fraud. Again, the false accusation isn't really an issue.

Woman Offered to Pay for Attack in Attempt to Influence Sexual Harassment Lawsuit.

Kansas City, Mo - infoZine - Matt J. Whitworth, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., woman pleaded guilty in federal court to her role in a wire fraud conspiracy involving a scheme between two women to hire a man to assault them. The woman was hoping to force a higher settlement of her sexual harassment lawsuit against a former employer.

Lindsey D. Crawford, 23, of Kansas City, waived her right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Ortrie D. Smith this morning to a federal information that charges her with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

By pleading guilty today, Crawford admitted that she was involved in a scheme to pay a man to physically and sexually assault her and another woman. The assault occurred on Nov. 25, 2008, in the garage at Crawford’s residence. Afterward, Crawford made false reports to law enforcement authorities concerning the staged assault, falsely claiming to have been assaulted by two unknown masked men. As a result, law enforcement authorities spent a substantial amount of time and money investigating the nonexistent crime.

The purpose of the conspiracy was to fraudulently increase damages in the sexual harassment lawsuit filed by Crawford against her former employer, Mercedes-Benz of Kansas City, as well as Soave Automotive Group, Inc., T.E.N. Investments, Inc., and Soave Enterprises, LLC. By fraudulently staging a physical assault and sexual assault, and then linking the staged assault to those companies, Crawford hoped that the settlement value or potential damages awarded by a jury in the sexual harassment lawsuit would substantially increase. Crawford then planned to compensate the man she hired by paying him part of the money fraudulently obtained from the companies.

Under federal statutes, Crawford is subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.This case is being prosecuted by Acting U.S. Attorney Matt J. Whitworth and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kate Mahoney. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.