Crime - Sacto 911

Woman dubbed ‘Bank Robbing Babe’ headed to prison

A woman labeled the “Bank Robbing Babe” and featured in a television true-crime program has been sentenced to prison for her role in a bank fraud scheme operated out of the Sacramento area.

Niesha Nicole Jackson, 35, was sentenced Wednesday in Sacramento by U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller to 15 years and seven months in prison for bank fraud and failure to appear for sentencing, according to a U.S. attorney’s office news release. Jackson had failed to appear for sentencing on the bank fraud conviction in 2011 and had lived as a fugitive until April 2014.

On July 30, 2009, a federal grand jury indicted Jackson on one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of bank fraud. According to court documents, Jackson was part of a credit card scheme that netted more than $1 million in losses to 37 banks in 2007 and 2008.

Operating from California, the scheme’s organizers sent runners to Alabama, Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Montana, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas to use prepaid credit cards at banks for cash advances. Although the cards had only small amounts of money available, the runners would tell bank tellers to call a toll-free number that was controlled by Jackson or another co-conspirator, authorities said.

Jackson, posing as a card services representative, would mislead the bank employee into believing that thousands of dollars were available on the card and then instruct the teller what buttons to press on the card terminal to make the transaction go through.

After receiving the cash, the runner would keep a portion and the rest of the fraudulently obtained funds would go to scheme organizers in the Sacramento area.

Jackson pleaded guilty in March 2010, but failed to appear for her sentencing.

While she was a fugitive, Jackson was featured on the CNBC program “American Greed: The Fugitives” and labeled the “Bank Robbing Babe,” authorities said.

In April 2014, after receiving information that Jackson was in Fairfield, the Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force, composed of U.S. marshals and state and local agencies, set up surveillance and arrested her at a hotel. When she was taken into custody, authorities said, Jackson had in her possession jewelry, a Cartier wristwatch, five pairs of luxury-brand shoes, 27 luxury-brand purses and a T-shirt with “BR Babe” printed on it.

Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

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