A Brewer woman is going to prison for several charges, including fraud and making a straw purchase of firearms.

Who Was Sentenced?

Carol Bragdon, 50, pleaded guilty on April 13, 2023 to wire fraud, making false statements to a mortgage lending business, as well as making a false statement to a licensed firearms dealer in a separate case.

What Were the Details of the Case?

According to the United States District Attorney's Office District of Maine, Bragdon provided false statements and representations, between November 202 and April 2021, to a residential mortgage lender for the purpose of getting a loan backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. She used Google email accounts to communicate with the lender and the VA and to transmit documentation as part of the scheme. Officials say the emails were transmitted from Maine and through another state.

In a separate case, officials say Bragdon bought five firearms in August 2021 from Maine Military Supply in Brewer, falsely stating that she was the actual purchaser of the firearms. Court documents state that there was a person with her when she made the purchases who directed her to specific firearms. That person, who was later arrested with one of the firearms Bragdon bought, a Walther PK380 .380 caliber pistol, was prohibited from purchasing a firearm under federal law.

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This is known as a straw purchase, which is an illegal firearm purchase where the actual buyer of the gun, being unable to pass the required federal background check or desiring not to have his or her name associated with the transaction, uses a proxy buyer who can pass the required background check to purchase the firearm for him or her.

How Long is Her Prison Sentence?

Bragdon was sentenced to 30 months in prison for the fraud counts and 12 months for her gun crimes, to be served concurrently. When she's released from prison, she will then spend three years in supervised release. In addition, Bragdon is ordered to pay $177,000 in restitution.

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