Duo sentenced for catfishing scheme that ripped off Marines

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Two people who catfished Marines have been sentenced for trying to rip the young men off.

According to the US Attorney’s Office, a federal judge today sentenced Jones Tyler Martin, of Hampton, SC, to nearly five years in prison, five years supervised release and ordered Martin to make $117,306.42 in restitution after pleading guilty earlier this year to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Martin’s accomplice, Hailey Tykoski, got give years probation and must pay $42,289.05. She pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Prosecutors say Martin and Tykoski ran a scheme that targeted Marines from North Carolina to California.

Investigators found that between 2013 and 2015 Martin, who worked with accomplices including Tykoski, created fake female identities on Internet dating sites to lure young, enlisted Marines into what the men though were romantic online relationships. They then convinced the victims to take out personal loans from Navy Federal Credit Union. Martin then used the Marines’ personal info to transfer the money from the loans to other accounts. Martin also withdrew money using new lines of credit and accounts in the Marines’ names and leaving the victims to pay off the debt.

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