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home : latest news : latest news July 22, 2014

4/18/2013 8:03:00 AM
Paulden woman pleads guilty in raffle scam case
Sonia Rios
Sonia Rios
Scott Orr
Special to the Review

A Paulden woman who sold raffle tickets offering a pickup truck as a prize to at least 24 people after the truck was already awarded pleaded guilty Tuesday.

Sonia Rios, 30, was charged with fraudulent schemes and theft after one victim reported that the raffle, which Rios had advertised online, was set to end May 13, 2012, but Rios was still selling tickets on May 19, said YCSO spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn.

Rios, who was using the name Gabriela Millan, sold tickets for $20 in the Chino Valley and Paulden areas, claiming the money was to benefit a premature infant at a Phoenix hospital. She denied selling tickets after May 13 but couldn't provide evidence to support the story about the infant in the hospital, D'Evelyn said.

A deputy doing follow-up found out that her name was actually Rios, and a search of her home turned up evidence of the scheme, D'Evelyn said.

She was already in custody on prescription drug charges when she was arrested on the fraud charge.

On Tuesday, she pleaded guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia, criminal impersonation and attempted fraudulent schemes and artifices.

Those charges come with a maximum sentence of 12.75 years, Superior Court Judge Celé Hancock said.

Deputy County Attorney Stephanie Willison recommended a term of probation, and Hancock agreed.

Hancock also agreed to allow Rios to stabilize her housing situation before beginning the probation.

Rios will be sentenced May 20.

Related Stories:
• Paulden woman arrested on child abuse charges; suspect pleaded guilty to raffle scam less than 2 months ago
• Paulden woman arrested, charged with defrauding 24 in possible raffle ticket scam

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