Tandy Anne Kertanis, 33, Reno, Nevada, who fraudulently obtained a $228,000 home equity loan in her father and mother-in-law’s names by forging their signature and the signatures of others, has been sentenced to 81 months in prison and ordered to pay $228,000 in restitution for her guilty pleas to identity theft and money laundering charges.
The defendant was sentenced on Thursday, April 11, 2013, by U.S. District Judge Larry R. Hicks. Kertanis pleaded guilty on Aug. 20, 2012, to one count of money laundering and one count of aggravated identity theft.
According to the court records, on about June 19, 2007, Kertanis called Wells Fargo Bank and identified herself as Joann L. Kertanis and applied for a home equity loan in the names of Robert P. Kertanis and Joann L. Kertanis, her father and mother-in-law. Neither Robert nor Joann Kertanis was aware of the application, nor did they authorize Tandy Kertanis to apply for the loan. In late June 2007, Tandy Kertanis returned a package of loan documents to Wells Fargo.
The documents contained the forged signatures of Joann L. Kertanis and/or Robert P. Kertanis, as well as forged signatures of a notary public and the defendant’s mother. The defendant submitted updated loan request documents on July 3, 2007, again containing the forged signatures of her father and mother-in-law, as well as the forged signature of the notary public, her mother, and a Reno attorney with whom she had consulted on a prior occasion. On about July 6, 2007, Wells Fargo Bank approved the home equity loan and electronically deposited $228,000 into the defendant’s U.S. Bank account in Reno.
On July 10, 2007, Tandy Kertanis allegedly transferred $180,000 from her U.S. Bank checking account into a money market account in the name of her husband at Linsco/Private Ledger in Reno. On July 13, 2007, Kertanis allegedly purchased a Toyota truck at Reno Toyota for $33,534, using the home equity loan monies she unlawfully obtained from Wells Fargo.
On Feb. 22, 2012, while Kertanis was awaiting trial in this case, her attorney filed a motion to continue the trial alleging that Kertanis’ young child was suffering from several serious health problems. Attached to the motion were letters from four medical specialists in Reno and California. These medical specialists were contacted and stated that the letters were false and that the young child was not suffering from any serious disease.
Kertanis is free on a personal recognizance bond and must self-report to federal prison on June 10, 2013.
Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada, announced the sentence..
The case was investigated by the FBI and IRS Criminal Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian L. Sullivan.