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2 Women Sentenced for Fraud in Failed Law School

The Associated Press

PITTSBURGH - Two women were sentenced to prison on conspiracy and fraud charges in a failed effort to start a law school.

Lynne Lamar, 52, and Rosanne Diehl, 54, both of Pittsburgh, were sentenced Friday to three years and four months in prison.

Lamar pleaded guilty Sept. 27 to criminal conspiracy and bank fraud in connection with an organization called the National Endowment Program. Diehl pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire, mail and bank fraud on March 25.

Diehl and her former client, Lamar, who had earlier been convicted of writing bad checks and fraud, formed the organization in 1998 to create a non-accredited law school that never got off the ground, apparently due to financial problems, according to prosecutors.

Authorities accused Diehl and Lamar of a number of financial scams such as a loan application that offered as collateral a car allegedly bought with bogus checks. Prosecutors said the pair also doctored tax forms and paychecks in an effort to secure loans and wrote more than $100,000 in bad checks.

Prosecutors said Lamar also falsely claimed on a loan application that she had worked as an attorney when she wasn't a lawyer and was incarcerated at the time on an earlier bad check conviction.