Clarksburg, W.Va. (AP) -- A Grafton couple has pleaded guilty to defrauding an elderly woman of $20,000 in a fake kidnapping scheme.
Fifty-three-year-old Eric W. Zuspan and his wife, 52-year-old Teri E. Trickett, admitted their role in convincing a Fairmont woman that Trickett was being held hostage by kidnappers who demanded a ransom.
Trickett served as the woman's caretaker.
Zuspan pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court to conspiracy to extort money and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.
He faces up to 15 years in prison.
Trickett pleaded guilty to wire fraud in U.S. District Court on Friday, and faces up to 20 years in prison.
The two are free on bond pending sentencing dates, which have not been set.
(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
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