Helena woman sentenced for wire fraud; aggravated identity theft
HELENA—U.S. Attorney Kurt G. Alme announced today that Katherine Marie Krieger, a Helena resident, was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison, three years supervised release and ordered to pay $236,924.17 restitution for stealing a person’s personal identity and using it to embezzle money from an investment account.
Senior U.S. District Judge Charles C. Lovell presided at the sentencing.
Krieger, 30, also known as Katherine Marie Waayenberg, pleaded guilty on Sept. 11 to wire fraud and to aggravated identity theft as part of plea agreement.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Racicot said the embezzlement scheme ran from February 2015 to August 2015. Krieger, and her then-husband, had moved from Michigan to Montana in 2010 so her husband could work for a company in Helena. Krieger befriended the owners of the company and then started embezzling from their Edward Jones investment account.
During the embezzlement, Krieger made 58 payments to her Capital One credit card account using money from the victims’ Edward Jones account. The total loss associated with the Edward Jones transactions was $109,138.49, but Krieger agreed to pay more for losses associated with her scheme.
When questioned about the theft in August 2015, Krieger claimed her mail had been stolen, including a check she had received for babysitting services from the victims. She also claimed she thought her identity had been stolen and that the perpetrator must have used the victims’ Edward Jones account number – obtained from the babysitting check – to make the Capital One credit card payments. And she claimed she thought the perpetrator who stole her identity must have obtained that credit card without her knowledge.
The investigation, however, found that Krieger had deposited the babysitting check into her personal bank account and that the Capital One credit card charges were for goods and services she received.
AUSA Racicot prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI and the Lewis and Clark Sheriff’s Office.