LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The U.S Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey announced on Tuesday that a Nevada woman was indicted on charges related to a $7 million advance fee Ponzi scheme.
Anna Kline, formerly Jordana Weber, 33, of Sparks Nevada was charged by indictment with two counts of wire fraud, 11 counts of money laundering, four counts of transacting in criminal proceeds, and two counts of obstructing justice.
According to court documents, from April 2017 to July 2019, Kline owned and operated several shell companies that falsely claimed to offer lending services to customers. The customers were typically small business owners seeking high-value loans, often around $100 million.
Kline would require the victim borrowers to pay up to 5% of the potential total loan amount as a “fee” prior to the loan being funded. After the victim’s “fee” was paid, she would claim to conduct due diligence on the loans, court documents stated.
During this period, Kline would often give the victims “bogus” explanations as to why the funding of their loans was delayed. According to documents filed for this case, it was common for the victims to be provided with falsified or fraudulent documents, like bank statements, showing that the shell companies had enough money to fund the loan.
Meanwhile, Kline and her significant other, Jason Torres, used the “fees” paid by the victims to fund their daily living expenses and other purchases. The “fees” were also used to pay back previous victims in the manner of a traditional Ponzi scheme.
Torres is charged by complaint and the charges are still pending.
Six victims have been identified with about $7 million that was transferred to bank accounts controlled by Kline.
Kline was arrested in July 2019 on charges related to the Ponzi scheme. She was released on bail and through her then-attorney provided the government with a PDF document that was supposed to be part of a Cellebrite report showing messages between Kline and Torres.
The messages appeared to show Torres making threats toward Kline and insinuating that Torres was primarily responsible for the fraudulent advance fee scheme.
However, a forensic review of the PDF document revealed that it had been falsified and further investigation revealed that Kline previously presented the fake report to a family court in California as part of a custody dispute between the two.
During that hearing, Kline said that the report has been generated by a forensic examiner named Drew Andrews, however further investigation revealed that Andrews did not exist. Andrews was actually an alter-ego of Kline’s that she used to deceive the California Family Court, her then-attorney, and a forensic expert, according to court documents.
In addition to the fraudulent report, Kline provided the government with a computer that she claimed contained an iTunes backup that had alleged text messages from Torres. After a forensic review of the computer, it was revealed that the data on the computer had been manipulated. Kline changed certain time stamps on the computer to make it appear that the iTunes backup was created in April 2020.
The date for Kline to appear before a U.S District Judge is still to be scheduled.