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Justice News

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

Monday, October 31, 2016

Haymarket Woman Arrested for Alleged Identity Theft and Financial Fraud

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Karen Holtz, 50, of Haymarket, was arrested today on charges related to her role in a financial fraud and identity theft scheme while working for JMS Ventures, Inc.

Holtz, who was indicted on October 26, is charged with wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and filing false tax returns. The indictment was unsealed this morning after Holtz was arrested.

According to court documents and court proceedings, Holtz worked for JMS Ventures, Inc. (JMS), which does business as the Kenyan Collection, is a small business that imports and distributes handmade Kenyan goods.  Between 2008 and 2013, Holtz allegedly fraudulently diverted funds from JMS, by writing herself unauthorized checks from the JMS bank account and using PayPal to transfer customer payments directly to her personal bank account.  The indictment further alleges that Holtz defrauded JMS’s customers by using their personal identifying information, including names and credit card numbers, to make fraudulent charges to their credit cards.  Holtz is alleged to have obtained at least $350,000 from the fraud scheme.  Holtz is alleged to have filed false federal individual income tax returns for tax years 2010 through 2013, which failed to report all the income that Holtz received in those years.  In an attempt to conceal the fraud, Holtz also allegedly altered and destroyed records, including evidence of the fraud.

Holtz faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each count of wire fraud, three years in prison for each count of filing false returns and a mandatory sentence of two years in prison for each count of aggravated identity theft, if convicted. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Caroline D. Ciraolo, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, head of the Justice Department’s Tax Division; Michael L. Chapman, Loudoun County Sheriff; Brian J. Ebert, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service’s Washington Field Office; and Thomas Jankowski, Special Agent in Charge, Washington, D.C. Field Office, IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), made the announcement after Holtz’s initial appearance before U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine L. Wong and Trial Attorney Kimberly G. Ang of the Tax Division are prosecuting the case. 


A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 16-cr-244. 


An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

Financial Fraud
Identity Theft
Updated October 31, 2016