Former Coupeville woman sentenced in mail fraud case

  • Fri Jan 6th, 2012 9:23pm
  • News

Herald staff

SEATTLE — A former Coupeville woman was sentenced Friday to nearly four years in federal prison for scamming an elderly man out of more than $2 million.

A U.S. District judge also ordered Shea Saenger, 60, to pay back the $2.1 million she bilked from the victim. Saenger pleaded guilty in July to mail fraud.

Prosecutors accused Saenger of striking up an online relationship in 2005 with an Ellensburg man, whose wife recently had died. Saenger told the man she was single and encouraged a romance. Saenger was married and living her husband in Coupeville at the time.

Over the next few years, she conned the man into sending her money by lying about her intentions. She claimed she’d marry him if he helped her with her financial needs. She also lied about having breast cancer and needing surgeries, prosecutors said.

Saenger knew the man suffered from memory problems, prosecutors said. She would tell him he hadn’t sent a check when in fact he had already mailed her significant amounts of cash.