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‘Organic Baker’ Gets Five Years in Prison

DALLAS (CN) - A woman who claimed to be an organic baker and an "international consultant" was sentenced Tuesday to five years in federal prison for defrauding investors of more than $2 million.

Patricia A. Stewart, 50, of Wheaton, Ill., was ordered to pay $2.02 million in restitution and to report to the Bureau of Prisons by March 28.

Her victims included an elderly Dallas woman who was taken for nearly $500,000, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.

Stewart sold stock in her company, Whole Bakers LLC, from December 2005 through May 2010. She also owned and managed Stewart International Consultants, and misrepresented herself as a licensed securities dealer, prosecutors said.

Stewart claimed she would use investors' money to make organic, gluten- and wheat-free bakery goods. But she "failed to advise investors that their funds would be commingled with other funds, that investor funds had been, and would be, diverted for unrelated purposes, and that she and others would use the funds for their own personal benefit," prosecutors said in the statement.

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