A 37-year-old Lenoir City woman has pleaded guilty to fraudulent activity and admitted involvement in a real estate scheme to defraud the elderly.
Christina Erin Myers entered a guilty plea in the U.S. District Court of Eastern Tennessee to one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement Tuesday.
Myers faces a term of 20 years in prison, potential fines of up to $750,000 and the obligation to pay more than $405,000 in victim restitution.
As part of the plea agreement filed with the court, Myers admitted to engaging in a scheme to defraud elderly people.
The press release said she was involved in diverting funds that victims had provided to her for the purchase of real estate from Tennessee Baptist Adult Homes by marketing non-existent senior communities and promoting fictitious investment opportunities.
“Protecting our seniors has been and will continue to be a top priority of our office. Working with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners, we will investigate and build cases for successful prosecution of these individuals who choose to victimize some of our most vulnerable citizens,” U.S. District Attorney Douglas Overbey said in the release. “I encourage everyone to speak out and tell someone in authority if they have been a victim of elder abuse or financial fraud. Please do not remain silent,” he added.
On Oct. 16, 2018, a six-count indictment — including the fraud and laundering charges — was returned against Myers by a federal grand jury in Knoxville.
Frank M. Dale Jr., assistant United States attorney, represented the United States in the case.
The indictment was the result of an ongoing investigation by an Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation team, the Lenoir City Police Department and the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
Sentencing has been set for March 25, 2020, at 11 a.m., in District Court in Knoxville.