Downey woman sentenced to federal prison for wire fraud
A Downey woman has been sentenced to nearly five years in federal prison for running a scheme that collected $1 million from investors who believed their money was paying for Christian rock concerts and real estate investments.
Lauren Baumann, 43, pleaded guilty in October to a wire fraud charge. Federal prosecutors said she collected loans for her business, Stewardship Estates LLC, from more than two dozen investors in Los Angeles and Orange counties.
She spent the money paying off other investors and to subsidize her rent at a Downey mansion and her children's school tuition. Altogether, victims lost about $560,000, prosecutors said.
She will begin serving her sentence April 2 and will be required to pay restitution to the victims.