After two days of a jury trial, an Ashburn woman pleaded guilty Oct. 17 to federal charges of wire fraud, money laundering, conspiracy to impersonate a federal agent to demand money, and obtaining confidential phone records.
According to court documents and the evidence at trial, Keisha L. Williams, 43, solicited over $5.4 million from more than 50 victims by telling them that she had paid money for a healthcare-related software in Austria and that the software was being held in “escrow” because she still owed taxes and other fees associated with the purchase. She asked for short-term loans to bring the software to the United States.
However, Williams spent more than 95 percent of the victims’ money supporting a lifestyle of luxury, including millions on international travel and retail purchases and close to half a million to support her girlfriend. Williams also recruited others to pose as federal law enforcement agents to demand money from several individuals to whom she sent proceeds of the software fraud and to purchase private telephone records of one of the extortion victims.
Four other individuals entered guilty pleas in connection with this case before trial. See table below for details.
Williams faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when sentenced on Jan. 18.