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Woman Arrested for Alleged Involvement in Global Online Scam

A woman, resident of Rockhampton central Queensland (Australia), suspected of being involved in an Internet fraud worth $500,000, has been taken into police custody. 42-year-old Shirley Marilyn La Ragy presented herself at the Rockhampton Magistrates Court on July 28, 2009.

Officials from the police department said to the court that La Ragy was involved in a global scam in which majority of the people preyed were US citizens. The scammers transferred the money they stole to Nigeria. Police further alleged that La Ragy operated on behalf of this scammers' gang while she lied to many Americans, seeking monetary help.

However, Rockhampton police have sought the court's adjournment for the case till September 2009 in order to allow the US Secret Service collect evidence as Rockhampton police would require assistance from the US agency.

In the meantime, La Ragy requested for bail, which magistrate refused granting. Magistrate stated it was highly dangerous to free La Ragy since the scam she was involved in connected to several countries and it was operated via the Internet where it was difficult to monitor it.

Only two days following La Ragy's arrest, police state that a victim of hers got an e-mail threatening him of punishment if he revealed anything to police as La Ragy was innocent.

The e-mail accused the recipient of trying to cause damage to the world by chastising the innocent for which he would be punished through the means of revelation of his confidential matters. The e-mail though showed La Ragy's e-mail address, it wasn't actually sent from her.

Meanwhile, the prosecutor said that the US Secret Service would take many months to collect clues from the forensic tests. Moreover, Constable stated that La Ragy built close connections with the persons she victimized whom she then defrauded.

Court has charged La Ragy with 6 instances of deception and 1 instance of owning tainted property. While no other individual has been accused, police are still investigating her associates.

Additionally, Queensland police are coordinating with their Nigerian counterparts to quell Internet scams that emerge from that nation.

Related article: Woman Lying As Pregnant, Frauds Adoptive Couples

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