BECKLEY, WV (WOWK) – A Raleigh County pharmacist has pled guilty to wire fraud and money laundering charges.
United States Attorney Mike Stuart says Natalie Cochran, 39, of Daniels, admitted that from approximately June 2017 through Aug. 22, 2019, she knowingly defrauded and took money and property from individuals, a financial institution and several other companies.
Stuart says Cochran induced several companies to invest her companies, Technology Management Solutions and Tactical Solutions Group and in phony government contracts by making false misrepresentations regarding her and her companies’ experience and purported success as government contractors.
Cochran also convinced at least 11 other people to invest $2.5 million in alleged government contracts, along with another investor to send $511,920 through a wire transfer from North Carolina, according to Stuart’s office. Stuart says the investors paid through personal checks, cashier’s checks and wire transfers.
According to Stuart, Cochran admits to never investing the money she received, but placed it in her personal account and used it to make numerous $10,000 purchases.
Stuart says in her plea deal with federal prosecutors, Cochran has agreed to pay nearly $2.6 million in restitution to her victims and to forfeit her items she obtained through her fraudulent activities, including two pieces of real property, a 1965 Shelby Cobra, multiple vehicles, pieces of jewelry, and nearly $45,000 seized from her business bank account.
Cochran is currently facing up to 135 months in prison. Her sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 4, 2021.