Hudson Valley Woman Faked Pregnancy, Defrauding Couple
A Hudson Valley woman is heading to jail for defrauding a couple by claiming she was pregnant with twins and would give the couple both babies.
On Tuesday, 33-year-old Ashley Richards of Walden was sentenced to two to four years in prison for defrauding a couple out of over $8,000. Richards pleaded guilty to grand larceny in April.
"While all frauds involve an abuse of the victims’ trust, this was a particularly cruel fraud perpetrated on a couple anxious to start a family,” Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler said. “The state prison sentence that this defendant received is just punishment for the cynical, elaborate and ongoing misrepresentations that she made to her victims. I can only imagine how devastating it must have been to the victims to learn of how they had been misled. I hope this prison sentence deters others who might be tempted to engage in similar schemes.”
Prosecutors argued that Richards met a couple in early 2018 who wanted to adopt a baby and Richards falsely told the couple that she was pregnant and was expecting twins and would allow the couple to adopt the twin babies.
Richards, who was not pregnant, gave the couple a stuffed animal with a recording she said was the twin fetuses heartbeats and made repeated misrepresentations about her medical condition, official say.
The couple gave Richards over $8,000 which she claimed was going towards medical expenses for her pregnancy. In addition to the state prison sentence, Richards was also ordered to pay restitution to the couple in the amount of $8,835.
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