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Doran noted that he grew up without a father figure and his mother died when he was young.Doran said Pierce could use his ability to relate to people for good with his friends but unfortunately used it for bad and exploited the victims in this case.Reinstein sentenced Pierce to 15¾ years in the dating scam, with a credit of 199 days served.The judge also sentenced him to 15 years in the other case, with 212 days credit. Three victims made statements Friday about the hardships they endured because of Pierce’s actions.Before announcing the sentence, Reinstein told Pierce he delivered "heartache" to the victims.
Gary called Pierce to let him know what she had done, and he told her she would be arrested for spreading falsehoods, Gary testified.
Pierce had given her some financial advice, and she said she believed him.“He said all the right things,” she said.
Gary said she went through four different jobs because she could not perform her duties properly and then had to seek counseling.
A Tempe police investigation showed that Thomas and Pierce had used victims' personal information to duplicate credit cards and make thousands of dollars in fraudulent purchases from luxury stores and hotels, according to the Attorney General's Office.
Pierce was indicted in the dating scam on 13 counts of theft, 13 counts of transactions by an unregistered dealer or salesperson, two counts of illegal control of an enterprise and one count of fraud.
In addition, Pierce had no violent prior offenses, and his substance-abuse and mental-health issues also were factors for the judge to take into consideration.