TV SWEEPSTAKES Mom, daughter charged with fraud in contest
The daughter allegedly created bogus winning forms for family and friends.
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- A mother and daughter were indicted Tuesday on mail fraud charges on allegations that they swindled a Pittsburgh television station out of almost $100,000 by doctoring up winning sweepstakes entry forms.
Sonya Rosenberger bilked Pittsburgh television station WTAE-TV out of $95,500 by using her computer to make bogus entry forms for the station's "Watch 4 Win More" contest after winning contest numbers were broadcast, according to the indictment.
Rosenberger, 27, of Farmington, created the bogus winning forms for herself, her friends and relatives from April 2002 until May, when station officials discovered the scam, authorities said.
Rosenberger did not immediately return a telephone message left at her home Tuesday evening.
Also charged in the scam was Rosenberger's mother, Alanna Ridenour, 45, of Morgantown, W.Va., who is accused of using the bogus winning forms to get about $12,000 from the station. A reliable phone number for Ridenour could not be located by The Associated Press.
It was unclear if either woman had an attorney.
"I applaud station employees for detecting suspicious activities and bringing them to the attention of the authorities. The station will continue to cooperate with the investigation and subsequent prosecution of this case," said Rick Henry, who is WTAE-TV president and general manager.