FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 21, 2011
SOUTH CHARLESTON WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO FRAUD AND IDENTITY THEFT CHARGES
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Yvetta Renee Holestine, 56, of South Charleston, West Virginia, pleaded guilty today in federal court before United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston to identity theft and fraudulent transactions with access device. Holestine, a former employee of Hard Rock Exploration, admitted that she fraudulently used a company credit card from July 2008 to July 2009. Holestine further admitted that she received approximately $24,300 within that year. On August 17, 2009, the defendant requested a $500 redemption check for reward points from FIA Card Services that accumulated on the MasterCard account. That same day, a rewards check was mailed from FIA Card Services to Hard Rock Exploration and received 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. In total, the defendant used access devises and account information from at least five Hard Rock Exploration employees to fraudulently receive up to as much as $183,000 in cash, goods and/or services that she was not entitled to receive.
Holestine faces up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine and an order of restitution to Hard Rock Exploration of up to $183,000 when she is scheduled to be sentenced on October 27, 2011.
The investigation was conducted by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the United States Secret Service. Assistant United States Attorney Erik Goes is in charge of 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. Identity Theft Initiative is a cooperative effort among various federal, state and local law enforcement agencies intended 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 that focuses on prosecuting individuals who defraud small West Virginia businesses in the Southern District.