AVERILL PARK, NY – A Rensselaer County woman is facing felony charges, accused of stealing thousands of dollars from at least two victims.
Police said 49-year-old Marcia Doyle of Averill Park, a practicing attorney, was stealing money from people by promising very high return rates on investments. But most of the victims said they never received any repayment.
Police said it had all the makings of a get-rich-quick scheme, and most of the targets were identified as clients, friends and business people in the area.
Police first received tipped by people complaining of losing their money.
"By people coming in and making complaints that they had given money to Marcia Doyle and received no return," New York State Police senior detective Robert Stampfli said.
Stampfli said Marcia Doyle's activity was a red flag.
"It's very uncommon to see something like this," he said.
Police arrested and charged Doyle Wednesday with one count of Scheme to Defraud in the Second Degree and two counts of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, all felonies.
Stampfli said Doyle was "obtaining funds with the promise of a high return rate and then failing to pay anything back."
Stampfli said his office has been investigating Doyle for more than year. The Albany County District Attorney said the charges filed Wednesday stem from activities in January and August of 2011 where Doyle is accused of stealing $34,000 from two separate Schaghticoke residents.
"We have not had much conversation [with Doyle]," Stampfli said. "She's represented by an attorney, and she is an attorney herself. So, she's well versed in her rights and what to say and what not to say."
Doyle was arraigned in Schaghticoke Town Court Wednesday and remanded to the Rensselaer County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bail.
NEWS10 ABC went to Doyle's home for comment but was told from behind a closed door to leave the property.
While Doyle is a practicing attorney, Stampfli said the fraud had little to do with her job.
"[She was] not taking money for services rendered as an attorney," he said. "More taking money under the guise of either, quick turnaround real estate deal or investment opportunities or things of that nature."
Stampfli said he expects more charges to come.
"The only thing I can really say is that it is a large amount of money and a large amount of people [involved], more than two," he said.
The Albany County District Attorney has been asked to assign a special prosecutor to the case to avoid any improprieties because Doyle has a professional relationship with the Rensselaer County District Attorney.
While there are currently only two victims, police and the Albany County DA's office expect the amount of money stolen and victims involved will increase before the case is completed.
Officials are asking anyone with information on this case or feels they may have been victimized by Doyle to call the State Police Brunswick at 518-279-4427.
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