Alaska woman who took on new identity to escape abuse gets almost 5 years in bizarre scam

A former Rhodes and Fulbright scholar from Alaska who pleaded guilty in a bizarre case of deception and double identities has been sentenced to nearly five years in prison.

The Anchorage Daily News reports Rachel Yould was sentenced Friday to 57 months and ordered to pay more than $700,000 in restitution.

The 38-year-old Anchorage woman took on a new identity under a federal program that helps rape and domestic violence victims hide from their tormentors. But federal prosecutors say she used her new identity to defraud lenders out of more than $600,000 in student loan money that she used to play the stock market, buy a condo and launch a business.

Yould insists she used the money for her studies. She pleaded guilty in June to mail and wire fraud and making false statements to get student loans.

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Information from: Anchorage Daily News, http://www.adn.com