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Woman settles with Justice Department over phony Facebook page

WASHINGTON - The Justice Department has reached a $134,000 settlement with a New York woman after federal drug agents used information from her cellphone to set up a fake Facebook page in her name.

The settlement with Sondra Arquiett was revealed in court papers Tuesday, months after a judge referred both sides into mediation.

It follows revelations that the Drug Enforcement Administration took photos and other information from Arquiett's cellphone to create a fake Facebook page in hopes of tricking her friends and associates into revealing incriminating drug secrets. Arquiett had earlier been arrested in a cocaine case and was sentenced in 2012 to time served and given a period of home confinement.

Arquiett sued the federal government last year. The Justice Department initially defended the practice but later announced a review.

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