“She thought she was paying taxes,” Hamilton Police Detective Jon Habig told the Journal-News.
For the next several months, the victim shipped cash, money orders and checks to the defendant and another associate.
The woman contacted law enforcement in 2017.
“The report was made directly to me and I started investigating,” said Habig, who investigates financial crimes for the department.
The scam is just one of many that have victimized people in the area.
“In this case there was evidence that a lot of time isn’t available,” said Habig, who added he has evidence that Lee and her husband victimized 20 people nationwide.
Habig is now working to get Lee’s husband, who is believed to be in Jamaica, back to the United States and prosecuted.
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“I hope in the U.S. attorney’s office will be helping us with that,” he said.
Habig said he believes the victims lost more than the tally attached to the charges, “but that is what I was able to prove.”
Habig travelled to Georgia with the U.S. Marshals Service to arrest Lee, who was booked into the Butler County Jail on July 3.
“This is not a common scenario for how these cases play out, and I am very hopeful that I will be more successful in the future now that I have been successful with this one,” Habig said.