Susan Rowan wasn’t horsing around when she impersonated a rodeo star in order to get hundreds of free phones, two free homemade saddles and three potential boyfriends.
Rowan, 39, of Fayette County, Penn., pleaded guilty on Thursday to setting up a sham company by pretending to be Sherry Cervi, a world champion barrel racer from Arizona, WTFR-TV reported. She used the company to obtain 500 phones from Sprint Communications, which caused the company $430,000 in losses.
Assistant U.S. Attorney James Kitchen said in court that Rowan opened a corporate account with Sprint by posing as Cervi, Cervi’s relatives and business associates in a fictional company called “Hanson Industries.”
Between July 2008 and February 2010, Rowan placed bulk orders for the phones and handed out some of them to relatives saying they were free trials, returned 170 to Sprint, and burned the rest, according to TribLive.com.
Rowan also pretended to be Cervi in order to get a saddlemaker to give her two customized saddles — worth $8,000 — in exchange for promoting them at public events, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
She also convinced three men to visit her in Western Pennsylvania, where she kept up the rodeo star ruse.
Rowan will be sentenced July 2 and could face up to 20 years in prison and a maximum than $250,000 in fines for each of the five charges against her, the Herald Standard reported.
Rowan’s mother, Virginia, told KDKA-TV that Rowan’s kids used the cell phones, but she never used them herself.
She also noted her daughter never offered any kind of explanation for why she had so many phones.