GREELEY, Colo. (KDVR) – A woman will serve a two-year jail sentence after pleading guilty to an elaborate money-laundering scheme.
Jana Koretko, 51, worked as a digital publisher and author from 2014 to 2016. Originally, Koretko was a romance, erotica and fiction author, who had numerous pen names including Jana Leigh, Leigh Brock, Harley McRide, Zach Collins, RA Baker, Shelby Lynn and others.
Koretko started signing authors and published their work through various online book sites under her company, JK Publishing.
In 2016, several authors reported Koretko to the Weld County District Attorney’s Office because they believed she was stealing royalties from them.
While investigating the matter, it was revealed that Koretko was changing book sales reports from the online sites, and reporting fewer sales to the authors. She also hid her extra income and failed to report it on her taxes after several years.
Koretko then used false tax returns when applying for financial aid to help pay for her daughters’ college education, the Weld County District Attorney’s Office says.
“This was a complicated white-collar scheme that took years to unfold,” Deputy District Attorney Andrew Rogers said. “This was not a mistake or an accounting error; this was a serious crime. The defendant’s conduct injured innocent people not just in our community here in Colorado, but also internationally.”
Weld District Court Judge Thomas Quammen sentenced Koretko to two years of jail and 10 years of supervised probation. She will also have to pay nearly $197k back to her victims.
“I’m going to hold your feet to the fire,” Judge Quammen told the defendant. “Paying back this restitution is a specific condition of your probation. If you do not pay this restitution on probation, you certainly can not pay it while in prison.”