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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Sep 3, 2021

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Katrina Taniesha Waters, a 32-year-old woman from New Jersey, allegedly defrauded five different financial institutions out of $536,044 in personal loans, according to a Department of Justice press release.

By using falsified identification, employment, sales, vehicle documents, vehicle identification numbers, income reports and tax information, Waters fraudulently applied for personal loans, credit accounts and automobile draft loans.

Who was impacted?

The institutions targeted by Waters included the Police and Fire Federal Credit Union, Navy Federal Credit Union, Philadelphia Federal Credit Union, American Heritage Federal Credit Union, the Freedom Federal Credit Union, and the Susquehanna Bank.

A Story of Lies

According to the DOJ, Waters even stooped to falsifying that she was an American soldier when she “falsely represented that she was on active duty in the U. S. Army,” in order to gain membership with the Navy Federal Credit Union in March 2009.

Waters then used her false membership to defraud the Navy Federal Credit Union of $260,000 between November 2008 and October 2009.

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In another incident, Waters used an invalid vehicle identification number to obtain a $50,000 vehicle loan. She also misrepresented her income by stating she earned $92,000 a year as a field manager for a home loan business as well as “an additional $80,000 to $90,000 per year as a nurse.”

Waters also obtained $109,544 in personal loans from the Police and Fire Federal Credit Union. According to the indictment Waters is alleged to have used “fake certificate of title, false VIN and false auto lenders documents” in order to obtain the money from the Police and Fire Federal Credit Union.

Prosecutors claim that in one instance of defrauding the Police and Fire Federal Credit Union, Waters and an unnamed conspirator set up a bank account for a fake auto dealership. Using this fake dealership, in addition to a fake certificate of title and vehicle identification number, Waters was able to get a $25,000 loan from the Police and Fire Federal Credit Union for the purchase of a Chevy Tahoe. The Police and Fire Federal Credit Union lent the money which was made payable to the fake auto dealership. Waters then withdrew the money before the fraud was discovered and did not use the loan towards the purchase of a vehicle.

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How was she punished?

As a result of these charges Waters is charged with five counts of bank fraud in addition to 19 counts of making false statements to obtain personal loans. She is also charged with two counts of aggravated identity theft and two counts of making false statements to the government.

The court seeks forfeiture of her assets and properties in New Jersey and Philadelphia.

If convicted, Waters faces a minimum sentence of 24 months for aggravated identity theft.