West Virginia Woman Gets Nearly 3 Years In Wire Fraud Scheme

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia woman has been sentenced to nearly three years in federal prison for defrauding Charleston-area businesses.

Misty Brotherton-Tanner, 41, was sentenced in federal court in Charleston for her April guilty plea to wire fraud and money laundering. Prosecutors said Wednesday that she also was ordered to pay about $537,000 in restitution.

The Charleston resident provided bookkeeping and accounting services for several businesses. Court records showed Brotherton-Tanner electronically transferred money between accounts, including her own, from at least 2014 to 2020, even though she was not allowed to pay herself.

The scheme included listing herself as an employee for the various businesses, setting up accounts in the name of fictitious workers and adding them to business accounting software, and lying that she had paid state and federal taxes for the businesses, prosecutors said.

Brotherton-Tanner also stole money at the request of her mother, Lois Brotherton, who pleaded guilty for her role and was sentenced to probation.