An accused person has detained dozens of people in Seattle comics and LGBTQ scenes for more than half a million dollars with false stories about having multiple sclerosis and needing, prosecutors said. help with school expenses as well as bail out an incarcerated brother, prosecutors said.
Sabrina Taylor, 40, of Tacoma, Wash, has been charged with four counts of electrical fraud after defrauding multiple friends and acquaintances of more than $550,000 over a three-year period.
An FBI investigator wrote in the criminal complaint: “She took advantage of their hard-earned money – all to satisfy her own greed.”
A message left with Taylor’s attorney was not immediately returned.
““I lied. I lied because I had a shopping addiction that I developed as a coping mechanism for physical and emotional abuse over the years.””
Prosecutors say that between November 2016 and July 2019, Taylor approached many of the people she met online through a shared interest in manga, anime and video games. They say she tricked several people into giving her money to help her buy drugs for multiple sclerosis, pay for college and help bail her brother out of prison.
Taylor told her alleged victims she would be able to pay them back once she received a bonus from her work at the cancer research center, or when she received a payment. for a lawsuit with a local bank or from money from her parents.
But investigators say Taylor does not have multiple sclerosis and her school fees are almost entirely paid for through student loans and grants. They also said that her brother had never been to prison.
Ultimately, Taylor never returned any of the money, prosecutors said. Taylor later admitted to a victim that she lied about her life story, according to court documents, citing messages she had sent to that person.
“I lied. I lied because I have a shopping addiction that I have developed as a coping mechanism for physical and emotional abuse over many years,” the statement said. .
A blog named Sabrina TaylorScams, written by someone who said she was scammed and also published accounts from others who said they were similarly scammed, claiming that Taylor targeted many people in the LGBTQ community in Seattle. At some point, the blog said Taylor had spent time in Japan and allegedly took money from people living there.
A message sent to the author of the blog was not returned immediately.
After her first appearance in federal court in the western district of Washington, the judge ordered Taylor to turn over her passport.
Taylor faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted, prosecutors said.