Boston woman is sentenced to jail for stealing more than $88,000 from clients of travel business in Chinatown
A 41-year-old Boston woman was sentenced to jail and ordered to pay restitution after pleading guilty to stealing more than $88,000 from clients of her travel business, prosecutors said.
May Woo Lei was sentenced today in Suffolk Superior Court to 18 months in jail and 10 years of probation. If Woo violates her probation, she will have to serve an additional year in prision. She pleaded guilty to 21 counts of larceny over $250 and six counts of larceny over $250 of a person 60 or over, Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office said.
While on probation, Woo is prohibited from operating a travel business or accepting money for travel tickets or reservations and from advising people regarding immigration or citizenship issues, Coakley’s office said in a statement.
Woo will report to court next Tuesday to begin her sentence, Coakley’s office said. She was also ordered to pay $88,555 in restitution.
Woo used her Chinatown business, Sky Energy Travel Inc. to steal money from clients. She charged clients a fee for filing citizenship applications on their behalf, but she never did. Between November 2009 and February 2012, Woo defrauded 16 clients of more than $53,000, the statement said.
Woo also stole money from clients by falsely claiming she would buy plane tickets for them. Between February and July 2012, and in one incident in 2010, Woo fraudulently collected $42,000, Coakley’s office said.
Woo has already returned a portion of the money she stole and a credit card company she worked with has also returned money, prosecutors said.Melissa Hanson can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @Melissa__Hanson