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Annapolis woman pleads guilty to $2.6 million frauds

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An Annapolis woman pleaded guilty Friday to using false identities to bilk banks, Social Security and private and public insurers of $2.6 million, prosecutors said.

From 2005 though 2009, Winnie Joanne Barefoot, 57, used stolen identities to take out loans on three properties in Annapolis, falsely representing her ability to repay the loans, according to a statement Friday from Maryland's U.S. Attorney's Office.

Barefoot also admitted to providing false information to the Social Security Administration during that same period in order to receive disability benefits, which she has since repaid.

In 2007 and 2008, Barefoot also used false information to apply for commercial lines of credit to "finance a hyperbaric oxygen chamber business," prosecutors said. From 2008 to 2010, she operated a hyperbaric oxygen chamber business and fraudulently billed insurers, including Medicare and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, for physician services that were never provided.

Barefoot's frauds amounted to losses totaling $2,659,430, the government said.

Barefoot and prosecutors have agreed that a prison term of 45 to 60 months is appropriate punishment for her crimes, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. Her sentencing is scheduled for mid-June.

A prior version of this article incorrectly stated the length of Barefoot's agreed-upon sentence. The Sun regrets the error.

steve.kilar@baltsun.com

twitter.com/stevekilar

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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