Madison County Woman Sentenced to 12 Years for $1.6 Million Frauds
CHARLOTESVILLE, Va. – A Madison County woman was sentenced today to 12 years in prison for perpetrating a scheme in which she stole more than $1.6 million from victims while purporting to have terminal cancer, vast wealth, and connections to celebrities.
Christine Favara Anderson, 51, pleaded guilty in July 2021 to three counts of mail fraud and eight counts of wire fraud. In addition to her prison sentence, Anderson was also ordered to pay $1,615,557.91 in restitution to her victims.
“This defendant spun a web of lies and fraud so varied and extensive, it defies simple summary. At bottom, Anderson stole $1.6 million from victims who had placed their trust in her, and then she invented false excuses – like feigned importance, frozen bank accounts, and terminal illness – so she could hold onto these proceeds without repayment.” United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh said today. “When victims of the Western District of Virginia suffer from extensive fraud such as this, my Office will always partner with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to pursue those who perpetrate these crimes and hold them to account for their conduct.”
“Ms. Anderson created elaborate lies about having terminal cancer, vast wealth, and connections to celebrities to gain the trust of her clients and commit her criminal activities. With this guilty plea, Ms. Anderson has finally accepted responsibility for her actions and learned the price of such brazen conduct. Those who were manipulated and suffered losses because of her deceit will see justice served,” Stanley M. Meador, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Division said. “FBI Richmond appreciates the partnership of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and the Western District of the United States Attorney’s Office during this investigation. If you suspect fraud, please report it to tips.fbi.gov or to your local FBI office.”
According to court documents, Anderson owned and operated the publishing companies known as “Christine F. Anderson Publishing and Media” from 2014 through 2017, and “Sage Wisdom Publishing” from 2017 through 2020. Anderson took money from book authors but later failed to pay those authors their royalties as owed and did not provide products and services as negotiated. In addition, Anderson often falsely claimed to have been diagnosed with cancer in order to delay payments to book authors, while also purporting to maintain vast personal wealth and connections to celebrities.
When authors failed to receive the royalty payments they were owed, Anderson made elaborate excuses for the delays, including claiming to be busy working with the White House on the State of the Union address.
In addition to the book publishing scam, Anderson also admitted to orchestrating a real estate scheme where she signed contracts for expensive real estate, provided multiple false proofs of her own funds, but then was unable to provide the earnest money deposits. Often, Anderson would sign checks for earnest money deposits knowing she did not have the funds and the checks would never clear. She convinced other individuals to loan her money for these real estate transactions knowing that she could not and would not ever repay them. Anderson’s excuses for her inability to pay the earnest money deposits and the loans included her false claims of a cancer diagnosis, freezes on her bank accounts, and other ruses.
In April 2005, Anderson was indicted in the Northern District of Illinois for securities fraud. In June 2009, after a plea of guilty, the district court there ordered her to pay $155,000 in restitution. In July 2020, Anderson communicated with the Department of Justice’s Financial Litigation Unit regarding her ability to pay that restitution, and in doing so, made several false statements
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Madison County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kate Rumsey and Madison County Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Wade Gelbert are prosecuting the case.