Habitual Con Artist Receives 10-Year Prison Sentence

(Phoenix, Ariz. – Feb. 26, 2009)  Attorney General Terry Goddard announced today that Laura Lee Medley, 37, of Las Vegas, a con artist with eight prior felony convictions, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for making fraudulent medical claims. 

Medley, who claimed that medical conditions caused her to need a wheelchair, got up from her wheelchair and ran from officers who arrested her in May of 2006. In addition to her prison sentence, Medley has agreed to repay $7,247 to victims she defrauded. 

Medley pleaded guilty to one count of Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices in exchange for the dismissal of a host of minor charges. She admitted filing a claim against the BNSF railroad claiming that she broke her leg after falling from her wheelchair into a hole at a grade crossing at 43rd Avenue and Grand Avenue. To support that claim, Medley provided medical documents which were later determined to be false. However, before BNSF discovered the forgeries, the company paid her a $5,200 settlement. 

“Above and beyond the financial effects of Medley’s fraud, her false claims have hurt the disabled community,” Goddard said. “That she would pretend to need a wheelchair in order to defraud Arizonans is unconscionable.” 

Before pleading guilty, Medley also faced indictment for: 

  • Defrauding the family of a former jail inmate of $1,200 by posing as a Deputy Maricopa County Attorney. 
  • Filing false claims against a landscaping company for $847 in water damage to a computer system that did not exist. 
  • Producing dozens of sheets of counterfeit $20 bills discovered by investigators. 

Before being arrested on these charges, Medley left the state and filed several lawsuits in California falsely alleging injuries that she claimed were the result of violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  According to public records, Medley was convicted of two felony charges of Insurance Fraud and Perjury arising from these claims.  In total, public records show that Medley had eight prior felony convictions before receiving her most recent sentence. 

Assistant Attorney General Todd Lawson prosecuted this case.