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The State : 3 Years for Kidnap Hoax

November 24, 1987

Mary Beth Lara, the Los Alamitos woman who extorted more than $200,000 out of her parents in an elaborate kidnaping hoax, was sentenced to three years in prison in what the prosecutor called "a pathetic example of how low people can sink." Lara, 36, had pleaded guilty to conspiracy and extortion in a case that indirectly led to the death of her father from a heart attack and left her mother heart-broken and financially drained. Deputy Dist. Atty. Christopher J. Evans, who prosecuted Lara and two of her friends who systematically extorted money from Lara's parents over a two-year period, said: "It is hard to believe that people can sink that low."

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