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Mother-daughter online romance scam brings long prison sentence

Tracy Vasseur, left, and her mother Karen Vasseur, were sentenced to at least 12 years in prison for perpetrating an Internet romance scam in which prosecutors say the women made believe they were U.S. soldiers to separate would-be suitors from their money. Colorado Attorney General's Office via CBS Denver

(CBS) DENVER - Colorado mother and daughter Karen and Tracy Vasseur "broke hearts worldwide," the state attorney general says of the duo's $1 million Internet romance scam.

Now, the pair will have lots of time behind bars to think about the pain they caused, with a sentence of at least 12 years in prison, CBS Denver reported.

According to the station, prosecutors say the family scammers from Brighton, Colo. were part of a Nigerian online romance ruse in which they pretended to be soldiers serving overseas. The "soldiers" would start relationships with victims and then ask for money for travel and other expenses.

"Not only did this mother-daughter duo break the law, they broke hearts worldwide," Attorney General John Suthers said in a statement. "It is fitting that they received stiff sentences for their unconscionable crimes committed in the name of love and the United States military."

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