Lenoir City resident Christina Erin Myers, 37, has agreed to a plea on charges of money laundering and wire fraud.
On Monday, she entered a guilty plea to one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering. Sentencing is set for 11 a.m. March 25 in Knoxville before U.S. District Judge Thomas W. Phillips.
Myers in October 2018 was indicted by a federal grand jury on four counts of wire fraud and two counts of money laundering. She pleaded not guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Debra Poplin in U.S. District Court in Knoxville.
The indictment was a result of an investigation by Lenoir City Police Department, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and Tennessee Highway Patrol, according to a release from the Department of Justice.
“Protecting our seniors has been and will continue to be a top priority of our office,” Doug Overbey, U.S. attorney, said in a release. “Working with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners, we investigate and build cases for successful prosecution of these individuals who choose to victimize some of our most valuable citizens. I encourage everyone to speak out and tell someone in authority if they have been a victim of elder abuse or financial fraud.”
Myers faces 20 years in prison, potential fines of up to $750,000 and an obligation to pay more than $405,000 in restitution to her victims.
“In consideration of the defendant’s guilty pleas, the United States agrees to move the court at the time of the sentencing to dismiss the remaining counts against the defendant in this indictment,” the agreement reads.
The agreement notes Myers from May 2014-July 2018 schemed to defraud elderly individuals by diverting funds that were meant for real estate purchases from Tennessee Baptist Adult Homes, marketing non-existent senior communities and promoting fictitious investment opportunities.
“Myers failed to invest the funds as she promised and diverted those funds for her personal benefit without the knowledge or authorization of her victims,” the plea agreement reads. She used “wire communications in interstate commerce, consisting of text and email messages, to make false statements to her victims.”
“That (1) she was employed by Tennessee Baptist Adult Homes and authorized to sell residential real estate on behalf of that entity; (2) that she was soliciting and accepting funds from her victims for the purchase of residential real estates; (3) that she was working with Keller Williams to sell residential real estate; and (4) that she was soliciting and accepting victims’ funds for investment in certificates of deposit with SouthEast Bank,” the agreement reads.
The agreement said Myers conducted “a financial transaction affecting interstate commerce.”
“... The defendant’s actions resulted in substantial financial hardship to five or more victims ... and the defendant knew or should have known that the victims of her offenses were vulnerable,” the agreement reads.
Myers agrees to forfeit a combined $31,742.57 from two SouthEast Bank accounts and “a personal money judgment against the defendant and in favor of” the U.S. in an amount not less than $518,000.
“The defendant agrees to forfeit all interests in the properties as described above and take whatever steps are necessary to pass clear title to the United States,” the agreement reads.
Isaacs, Myers’ attorney, could not be reached for comment by News-Herald presstime.