PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) – A federal judge sentenced a woman to just over eight years in prison and has ordered her to re-pay $15 million dollars in restitution.
Rachel Lee, 44, who lived in Canby, was the ringleader of an elaborate scam, according to federal prosecutors. In 2004, Rachel Lee met the victim, Ralph Raines Jr., at a psychic shop in Bend. Over time, investigators said she groomed the victim for the purpose of extracting money from him and falsely claiming that she provided care for her dying husband.
Because of the sophisticated level of deceit, Rachel Lee was able to convince the victim to hand over all personal and business control of his financial accounts, prosecutors said. While controlling the victim’s finances, Rachel Lee and her family lived in a multi-million dollar home in Portland’s West Hills, prosecutors said.
Rachel Lee’s daughter, Porsha Lee, created a fake persona and introduced that character to the victim, investigators said. Porsha Lee posed as the woman named “Mary Marks.” She wore a blonde wig and even wore a body suit to pretend that she was pregnant. The scam got so extravagant that by 2011 the victim believed that he and Marks were married and had a child.
Between 2007-2011, prosecutors said Rachel Lee, directed the victim to slowly liquidate investment accounts totaling nearly $3.8 million dollars. Rachel Lee is also accused of convincing the victim of selling his family’s tree farm in Gaston, Ore. for a profit of roughly $12.3 million.
Prosecutors said Rachel Lee’s scam helped fund a lavish lifestyle and helped fund high-roller trips to Las Vegas and a first class trip to Europe. Investigators used bank records and determined that Rachel Lee purchased a $64,000 Rolex watch. They also determined that Rachel Lee and her co-defendant, Blancey Lee, purchased a Ferrari and Bentley in a single day.
Porsha Lee and Blancey Lee are scheduled to be sentenced.
The victim told the court Thursday that he still believes he is married to “Marks,” enough though she doesn’t exist.