Thornton Sentenced to 41 Months

Peggy Thornton, 59, of Meridian, has been sentenced to serve 41 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for operating an identity theft fraud scheme.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says Thornton was also ordered to pay $107,218.31 in restitution to two elderly victims, and forfeit her Meridian residence.

Thornton was convicted by a federal jury on five counts of wire fraud, one count of identity theft and one count of money laundering related to the identity theft fraud scheme she operated from her home.

Officials say Thornton moved her elderly neighbor, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, into her home.

After that, Thornton identified a joint Morgan Keegan investment account in the names of her elderly neighbor and the neighbor’s sister-in-law. Thornton then posed as her elderly neighbor when she contacted Morgan Keegan without the permission of the account holders.

Agents say she forged the signature of her victims to transfer money into a new account, which she quickly liquidated.

Officials say the money was spent to pay off a swimming pool at Thornton's residence and on numerous personal purchases at department stores, jewelers, television shopping programs, and on remodeling her residence.

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