Woman To Pay Over $880,000 Back In Gift Card Scheme

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Stock image of cards. (Credit:  Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Stock image of cards. (Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A Summerville woman has been sentenced to three years in prison for her role in a gift card scheme that federal prosecutors say netted $1 million.

U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles says 44-year-old Annette Marie Benson was sentenced Wednesday in Columbia. A federal judge also ordered her to pay over $880,000 in restitution to the victims.

Benson pleaded guilty to wire fraud in June. Prosecutors say Benson offered friends gift cards at a discount of 20 percent to 50 percent. They say Benson was paying face value for the cards and was making up for the loss with money coming in for new cards.

Prosecutors say eventually the money Benson received could not cover her outstanding obligations, and the scheme collapsed.

 (© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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