PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — On Wednesday, the former president and minority owner of Willamette Country Music Concerts pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering.
From Sept. 2016 to March 2018, Springfield resident Anne Hankins provided fraudulent bank statements and financial summaries to WCMC’s majority owner so they wouldn’t be aware of the business’s actual financial status, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon’s office.
The majority owner, who is based in Beverly Hills, Calif., reportedly asked Hankins if they could purchase her stake in the company in November 2017.
Around Feb. 7, 2018, Hankins sent new falsified financial records to the majority owner. The records indicated that WCMC had roughly $1.1 million in its operating account, although the actual amount was $16,000.
On March 1, 2018, the majority owner officially bought Hankins’ stake in the company for $1.5 million.
After receiving payment, Hankins asked her credit union to send out a cashier’s check from her account to the Clerk of the Court for the District of Oregon to fulfill a restitution order from a prior bank fraud conviction in 2001. As a result, she laundered her money from one offense to pay for another.
On Sept. 12 of this year, 53-year-old Hankins was charged by criminal information with counts of wire fraud and money laundering.
The maximum prison sentence for wire fraud is 20 years, while money laundering carries a maximum sentence of 10 years. Both charges could lead to fines of up to $250,000, or twice the gross gains or losses resulting from the offense, and three years of supervised release.
Hankins’ sentencing will occur on Jan. 5, 2023. She agreed to pay restitution as part of her plea agreement.
“With today’s guilty plea, Ms. Hankins has proven herself to be a serial fraudster,” Criminal Chief for the U.S. Attorney’s Office Craig Gabriel said. “Falsifying bank statements and laundering money to fraudulently inflate the value of a company are serious federal crimes.”