NEW MADRID COUNTY, Mo. (KFVS) - A woman was sentenced to six months in prison for wire fraud, to be served concurrently.
Jennifer Newton, 47, pleaded guilty in September 2020 to two counts of wire fraud.
According to a release from the Office of the United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Missouri, Newton was a firefighter at the New Madrid Fire Department when the fire chief was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2019.
They said Newton organized an online fundraiser via Facebook called “New Madrid Fire Chief Fundraiser,” which accepted more than $7,000 in donations for the fire chief in August 2019.
As the fundraiser organizer, Newton was responsible for designating a bank account where the money would be deposited.
Newton used a personal bank account under her control with the Bank of New Madrid to deposit the money from the fundraiser.
The attorney’s office said she directed more than $5,000 from Facebook Fundraising to her personal accounts, or accounts controlled by her, including a PayPal account owned by her, and she received money not entitled to her between August 2, 2019 and August 29, 2019.
Before her guilty plea, Newton paid restitution for the money she took.
The case was investigated by the New Madrid Police Department and the New Madrid County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Hahn handled the prosecution for the government.