A Lafayette businesswoman could spend up to three decades in a federal prison following her guilty plea Tuesday to wire fraud and money laundering charges.
Catherine Doucet Romero, 52, admitted to defrauding investors out of more than $1.27 million in a scheme in which she told them they were investing in a manufacturing facility and tannery for exotic skins. In fact, Romero admitted, she spent the money on personal bills and expenses for an unrelated business, according to federal law enforcement officials.
“Ms. Romero conned individuals into believing that they were investing in a unique Louisiana business, knowing full well that she was going to divert their investment to her personal use,” says U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley in a release announcing the plea. “This case further demonstrates our ongoing commitment to deter investor fraud in Louisiana.”
In addition to 30 years in prison and five years of supervised release, Romero also faces a $250,000 fine, restitution and forfeiture.