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Boston woman gets jail for cheating her clients

A 41-year-old Boston woman was sentenced to jail and ordered to pay restitution after pleading guilty to stealing more than $95,000 from clients of her travel business and from Chinese immigrants seeking to apply for citizenship, prosecutors said.

May Woo Lei was sentenced Tuesday in Suffolk Superior Court to 18 months in jail and 10 years of probation. If Woo violates her probation, she will have to serve an additional year in prison. She pleaded guilty to 21 counts of larceny over $250 and six counts of larceny over $250 of a person 60 or older, Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office said.

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Woo used her business, Sky Energy Travel Inc., to steal money from clients. She charged clients a fee for filing citizenship applications on their behalf, but she never did. Between November 2009 and February 2012, Woo defrauded 16 clients of more than $53,000, Coakley’s office said.

Woo also stole money from clients by falsely claiming she would buy plane tickets for them. Between February and July 2012 and in 2010, Woo fraudulently collected $42,000, Coakley’s office said.

While on probation, Woo is prohibited from operating a travel business or accepting money for tickets or reservations, and from advising people on immigration or citizenship issues, the statement said. Woo was also ordered to pay $88,555 in restitution.

Woo is scheduled to report to court next week to begin her sentence, Coakley’s office said.

Melissa Hanson can be reached at melissa.hanson@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @Melissa__Hanson.
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