Natchez woman convicted of fraud in business scheme

Published 12:07 am Tuesday, January 29, 2013

FAYETTE — A Natchez woman will spend 10 years behind bars for her part in a business scheme that reportedly bilked an investor by never opening the business into which the victim poured their money.

Emily Sanders, 53, 302 Mansfield Drive, was sentenced in District 22 Circuit Court in Fayette Monday to 10 years in prison followed by 10 years probation for her October conviction on two counts of false pretense.

The sentencing magistrate, Judge Lamar Pickard, also ordered Sanders to pay $132,000 in restitution.

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An official at the Jefferson County Circuit Clerks’ Office said the sentence was recommended by the District 22 District Attorney’s Office.

Sanders faced a possibility of 20 years jail time. A 12-person jury convicted her at trial.

Sanders was initially arrested in March 2012 on charges of embezzlement under contract.

At that time, officials said she had allegedly told a Jefferson County resident she was looking for a business investor. Sanders reportedly told the investor she had already collected three-quarters of the funds needed.

However, the business reportedly never opened, and even though the money was supposed to be put into an escrow account, that never happened, officials said.

Sanders’ husband, Merrick Sanders, was also charged in March, but when the matter was taken before a grand jury the jury did not return a bill charging Merrick Sanders.

The grand jury also changed the charges against Emily Sanders to false pretense.

Emily Sanders’ sentencing was delayed for several months, first because her attorneys could not be present and later because the judge requested a pre-sentencing investigation to confirm some facts related to the case.

A representative of the district attorney’s office could not be reached Monday.