Tulsa scam victim sentenced to prison

Friday, September 23rd 2005, 2:26 pm
By: News On 6

A woman who says she's the victim of an Internet scam is on her way to prison. She says she was fooled by love and long distance.

News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright says Bertha Fuller had hoped she'd be going home after her court appearance, but she's going to prison instead, for three years. She pleaded guilty to passing a bad check, even though she says she's a victim, not the criminal.

Fuller’s boyfriend Johnnie Miller: "I think she was done wrong, to tell the truth. She's getting ready to get her kids back, we was going to get married, everything has just hit wrong right now."

Last fall, Fuller says she met a man on the Internet and talked to him on the phone for six months. He said he lived in the UK. She thought they were in love and he promised to move here. So, when he told her he had an American paycheck he couldn't cash in England, she agreed to cash it. He told her she could keep 10 percent of the $4,500.

She went to cash the check, police were called and she was arrested, that was March. This summer, Broken Arrow Police issued a warning about a scam where men use online romances to get women to cash checks.

Fuller's family hoped her behavior since her arrest would help her receive leniency. Johnnie Miller: "She hasn't been doing anything wrong. She's paid her fines, everything, just like they've asked. She hasn't violated any laws of any sort. She just goes to work and comes home and takes care of five people all the time."

The judge gave Fuller and her attorney ample opportunity to make their case, but in the end, the fact she was already on probation for the felony of injuring a minor child in Craig County, sealed her fate that she'd not get probation this time.