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Press Release

West Virginia Woman Accused in Multi-State Fraud Scheme Targeting Kmart Stores

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH - A West Virginia woman has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of wire fraud, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

The seven-count Indictment, returned on June 25 and unsealed yesterday, named Tanya Thompson, aka Tanya Whetzel, 37, of Martinsburg, West Virginia, as the sole defendant.

According to indictment presented to the court, from approximately June 2017 until December 2017, Thompson traveled to approximately 25 states and purchased, among other things, third party gift cards, including prepaid credit cards, at various Kmart stores using fraudulent mobile phone coupons. The total loss from the fraud scheme is approximately $101,567.50.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 20 years in prison for each count, a fine of $250,000 for each count, or both for each count. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Lee J. Karl is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated July 10, 2019

Financial Fraud