Tehama County Woman Pleads Guilty in Refund Fraud Scheme

Pile of money
Pile of money.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sabrina Raylene Toilolo, 26, of Corning, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit wire fraud for her participation in a refund‑fraud scheme, Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

In June 2020, a federal grand jury returned a 14-count superseding indictment against her and her previously charged co-defendant Johnathon Ward, charging them with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft.

According to court documents, between July 2017 and September 2019, Sabrina Toilolo, Johnathon Ward, Monica Nunes, and Talalima Toilolo conspired to defraud financial institutions using a scheme that exploited the merchant refund process used by businesses and retail establishments to refund customers for returns, reimbursements, and erroneous charges.

Breaking News:  Art Dealer Arrested on Federal Charges Alleging He Embezzled Funds from Miracle Mile Art Gallery’s Bankruptcy Estate

The defendants committed this scheme by stealing or purchasing point-of-sale (POS) terminals used by businesses to process bankcard transactions. The defendants programmed each terminal to make it appear as if it was authorized by a particular retail merchant, connected the terminals to payment processing intermediaries, and executed refund transactions even though no purchases had been made. The payment processors, falsely believing the terminals were authorized, approved the refunds and caused the merchants’ payment processors to transfer funds to the defendants’ fraudulent accounts. The defendants then drained the stolen funds from the accounts and distributed them among members of the conspiracy.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Regional Enforcement Allied Computer Team (REACT) Task Force, which includes investigators from the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. Artuz is prosecuting the case.

Breaking News:  Stoneham Woman Pleads Guilty to Identity Theft and Unemployment Fraud Related to COVID-19 Pandemic

Sabrina Toilolo is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. on September 23, 2021. She faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

On April 2, Nunes was sentenced to 12 and a half years in prison.  On February 11, Talalima Toilolo was sentenced to10 years in prison. Charges against Ward are pending. The charges are only allegations; he is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Breaking News:  Albuquerque man charged with drug trafficking and firearms violation





Community Outreach

Giving back to the community through a variety of venues & initiatives.

Project Safe Childhood

Help us combat the proliferation of sexual exploitation crimes against children.

Stop Bullying

Afraid your child is being bullied or is bullying others?

Find helpful resources at:


Victim Witness Assistance

Ensuring that victims of federal crimes are treated with compassion, fairness, and respect.


Find helpful resources to prevent and respond to elder abuse.