Bristol woman sentenced to probation, home confinement for conspiracy to defraud banks

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ABINGDON, Va. (WJHL) — A Bristol, Virginia woman has been sentenced to probation and home confinement after investigators say she opened several bank accounts, deposited counterfeit checks, and sent money to individuals in connection with a scam involving a man with whom she had an online relationship with.

Kathleen Littleford, 77, was sentenced on Tuesday to three years of probation with four months of home confinement. She previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to execute a scheme to defraud financial institutions to obtain money by false pretenses.

Investigators say Littleford opened bank accounts for depositing counterfeit checks and receiving fraudulent transfers from other banks in an attempt to assist a man she met online and had an online relationship with who called himself “Frank Peterson.”

Peterson told Littleford that he made a lot of money in a trade deal in Dubai and that those funds were encumbered by the IRS due to taxes he owed and that he needed Littleford’s help receiving funds from banks because he could not transfer the money himself.

“Littleford admitted today that premised on Peterson’s representations and enticed by a reciprocal love and devotion he showed her, Littleford undertook extraordinary measures to comply with Peterson’s fraudulent financial requests,” the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Western District of Virginia wrote in a news release. “Littleford knew what she was doing was wrong, but knowingly and willfully engaged in the conduct anyway.”

The U.S. Attorney’s office says Littleford fraudulently received more than $190,000 in funds to which she was entitled after opening accounts with at least five local banks.

The case was investigated by the IRS and Russell County Sheriff’s Office.

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