News and Press Releases

Reno Woman Charged with Fraud, Identity Theft, and Money Laundering

November 21, 2008

Las Vegas, Nev. – A Reno woman has been indicted on federal bank fraud, identity theft and money laundering charges after she applied for and obtained a $228,000 home equity loan in the names of her mother and father-in-law, announced Greg Brower, U.S. Attorney for the District of Nevada.

Tandy Anne Kertanis is charged in an Indictment returned on November 19, 2008, with one count of bank fraud, three counts of aggravated identity theft, and two counts of money laundering. Kertanis was arrested by IRS Criminal Investigation Agents and arraigned by a federal magistrate judge on Thursday, November 20, 2008. Kertanis pleaded not guilty and was released on a personal recognizance bond pending trial.

The Indictment alleges that 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. Neither Robert or 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 U.S. Bank employee in Reno and two persons listed as witnesses. 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.

If convicted, Kertanis faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine on the bank fraud charge, two years in prison consecutive on the aggravated identity theft charges, and up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each money laundering charge.

The public is reminded that an Indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The case is being investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Brian L. Sullivan.

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