Fraudster sent to prison for back-to-back fraud scheme
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 39-year-old Orange Grove woman has been ordered to federal prison following her convictions of fraud and identity theft, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.
Katrina Theiss Freitag pleaded guilty to Fraudulent use of a Social Security number on April 5, 2022. Prior to sentencing Freitag committed additional fraudulent conduct and plead guilty to aggravated identity theft April 17.
U.S. District Judge Drew B. Tipton has now ordered Freitag to serve 80 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release for fraudulent use of a Social Security number. She will also receive two years for aggravated identity theft which must be served consecutively for a total 104-month sentence. At the hearing, the court heard that Freitag was involved in an additional fraud scheme while working for another employer and statements from victims of Freitag’s schemes.
From 2012 to 2017, Freitag worked for a commercial insulation company as a bookkeeper who handled day-to-day business activities including finances. She obtained unauthorized cash advances using the companies’ receivables as collateral. Freitag used the owner’s Social Security number and signed the owner’s name to the cash advance documents without authorization. She executed five unauthorized secure merchant agreements over seven months. The company incurred a loss of $580,000 because of Freitag’s scheme.
Freitag pleaded guilty April 5, 2022, to two counts of fraudulent use of Social Security number in a loan scheme. After this plea, she was permitted to remain on bond.
Freitag then began working for a Corpus Christi pawn shop as a bookkeeper. The manager discovered several suspicious credit card transactions on the owner’s credit card account. The investigation revealed Freitag made unauthorized online charges for groceries, payments to a tax preparation company and her personal cell phone bill. There was an also a forged company check electronically deposited into Freitag’s bank account. Freitag was remanded into custody after this scheme and pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft related to use of the pawn shop owner’s credit card account without authorization.
Freitag will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The FBI conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Orange Grove Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert D. Thorpe Jr. and John Marck prosecuted the case.
Updated September 27, 2023