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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          Feb. 21, 2012                   

SOUTH CHARLESTON WOMAN SENTENCED ON FRAUD AND IDENTITY THEFT CHARGES

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Yvetta Renee Holestine, 56, of South Charleston, W.Va, was sentenced today to six months in prison followed by three years of supervised release by United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston for identity theft and fraudulent transactions with access device.  Holestine previously pleaded guilty in July.  She is a former employee of Charleston-based Hard Rock Exploration (Hard Rock) Inc.  The defendant admitted that she fraudulently used a Hard Rock company credit card from July 2008 to July 2009 and received approximately $24,300 as a result of the fraudulent conduct.  On August 17, 2009, Holestine requested a $500 redemption check for reward points from FIA Card Services that had accumulated on the company’s MasterCard account.  A rewards check was mailed from FIA Card Services to Hard Rock Exploration and subsequently obtained by the defendant.  Holestine admitted that she forged the signature of the company credit card’s authorized user and on August 25, 2009, uttered the Rewards Check at Sun Trust Bank located in Charleston.  The defendant admitted that she used access devises and account information from at least five Hard Rock Exploration employees to fraudulently receive up to at least $115,276 in cash, goods and/or services that she was not entitled to receive.  

At sentencing, the Court ruled that three months of the defendant’s six-month prison sentence is eligible to be spent on home confinement.  Also at sentencing, the defendant agreed to pay $115,276.47 in restitution to Hard Rock.  A final restitution amount will be determined by Court Order at a later date.    

The investigation was conducted by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the United States Secret Service.  Assistant United States Attorney Erik Goes handled the prosecution. 

This case is being prosecuted as part of two key initiatives established by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia: Identity Theft and Small Business Protection.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office launched an Identity Theft initiative in July 2009 as a cooperative effort among various federal, state and local law enforcement agencies designed to aggressively prosecute identity thieves.  U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin announced the Small Business Protection Initiative in November 2010.  Small Business Protection is a primary initiative of the U.S. Attorney’s Office that focuses on prosecuting individuals who defraud small West Virginia businesses in the Southern District.

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