CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Charleston woman was sentenced today to eight months of home confinement and five years of probation for her role in a conspiracy to commit wire fraud. She was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $48,509.
According to court documents, Lois Brotherton, 65, once provided bookkeeping and accounting services to a Kanawha County non-profit organization that formally dissolved in 2014. In 2019, Lois Brotherton asked her daughter, Misty Brotherton-Tanner, to write her checks from the non-profit’s bank account. Lois Brotherton knew she was not entitled to those funds and that there were no funds available for her use. Misty Brotherton-Tanner agreed to steal the money and provide it to her mother. Lois Brotherton would receive the checks as though the non-profit organization had paid her money and would then electronically deposit the stolen money into her personal account. To cover the wire fraud, Misty Brotherton-Tanner would electronically transfer money from three different companies for which she provided accounting services without the companies’ knowledge, consent, or permission. As a result of this fraud scheme, Lois Brotherton conspired to steal at least $48,509.
Misty Brotherton-Tanner, 41, also of Charleston, pleaded guilty in federal court on April 13, 2021 to two felony counts of wire fraud and one felony count of money laundering. Brotherton-Tanner’s guilty plea related to this scheme with Lois Brotherton as well as other criminal activity that she was engaged in apart from her mother. She is scheduled to be sentenced on July 15, 2021 and faces up to 50 years in prison, a $750,000 fine and three years of supervised release. Brotherton-Tanner has also agreed to pay restitution in the amount of $537,173.
Acting U.S. Attorney Lisa G. Johnston made the announcement and praised the investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI), the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) and the West Virginia State Tax Department-Criminal Investigation Division. Assistant United States Attorneys Erik Goes and Katie Robeson prosecuted the case.
Senior United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr. imposed the sentence.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case Nos. 2:20-cr-00147 (Brotherton) and 2:20-cr-00146 (Brotherton-Tanner).