LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A Corona woman is back in federal prison after repeating a scam name-dropping celebrities like Taylor Swift, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.
“This is the final chance,” Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald told 57-year-old Carolyn Jones as he ordered her back to federal prison Monday. Jones had completed a 79-month federal prison sentence earlier this year stemming from a $15 million bank fraud scheme.
Jones admitted Monday she had violated the terms of her release by engaging in business that involved the solicitation of funds. Prosecutors say she lied to a prospective investor that LeBron James had offered her $500,000 for equity in her denim jeans brand, then took a $13,000 investment from that person.
The Lakers star wasn’t the only celebrity name Jones dropped, federal prosecutors said. Jones also claimed the Kardashian and Jenner families, Taylor Swift, Floyd Mayweather, Chrissy Teigen, Will Smith, Jada Pinkett-Smith and the late Kobe Bryant also supported her brand.
“In the wake of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and one of his daughters, [Jones] used their deaths as a way to prop up her company and bolster her carefully-crafted image of being a well-connected entrepreneur,” a sentencing memorandum said. Prosecutors say Jones falsely claimed she was in contact with the Bryant family after the crash, consoling them, and that prior to his death, Bryant had wanted his daughters to be the “face” of her denim brand.
Jones has been sentenced to another 20 months in prison. When she is released again, she will be on supervised release for 40 months.