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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Ashburn Woman Pleads Guilty to $5 Million Fraud

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – After two days of jury trial, an Ashburn woman pleaded guilty today to wire fraud, money laundering, conspiracy to impersonate a federal agent to demand money, and obtaining confidential phone records.

According to court documents and the evidence at trial, Keisha L. Williams, 43, solicited over $5.4 million from more than 50 victims by telling them that she had paid a lot of money for a certain healthcare-related software overseas in Austria; that the software was being held in “escrow” because she still owed taxes, attorney’s fees, and other debt associated with the purchase; and that if they would just give her a short-term loan to get this software out of escrow and bring it to the United States, the software would be a huge success and everyone would be quickly repaid, with interest.

In truth, Williams spent over 95 percent of the victims’ money on creating a lifestyle of luxury for herself, including millions on international travel, retail purchases at stores like Chanel and Gucci, and close to half a million on maintaining her girlfriend. Williams also recruited others to pose as federal law enforcement agents in order to demand money from several individuals to whom she sent proceeds of the software fraud. Williams recruited still other individuals to purchase private telephone records of one of the extortion victims from T-Mobile retail stores.

Four other individuals entered guilty pleas in connection with this case before trial. See table below for details.

Name, Age

Hometown

Charge(s)

Sentencing

Christian D’Andrade, 69

California

Wire Fraud

December 14

Carla McPhun, 50

Maryland

Wire Fraud

December 10

Arthur Robinson, 53

Manassas

Conspiracy to Impersonate a Federal Agent

December 10

Ruben Gresham, 53

Maryland

Conspiracy to Impersonate a Federal Agent

December 10

 

Williams faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when sentenced on Jan. 18, 2019. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Nancy McNamara, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Grace L. Hill and Jack Hanly are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:18-cr-160.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Communications joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated October 17, 2018