Koreasa "Kory" Williams was sentence to 51 months behind bars and three years of supervised as part of a plea deal in U.S. District Court in Tucson, the Justice Department announced in a news release.
Williams, 46, who founded a Christian counseling service in Tucson earlier this year, was described by a prosecutor in a sentencing memo as "a serial defrauder and thief on an enormous scale."
Initially charged with 65 counts of wire fraud and eight counts of aggravated identity theft, she agreed to plead guilty to one count of wire fraud. The other charges were dropped, and a hearing will be held next month to discuss restitution to Williams' victims.
A 2019 indictment said Williams targeted clients with annuities held by life insurance firms. For seven years from 2011 to 2018, she forged their signatures and submitted false paperwork to withdraw money from annuity accounts without their knowledge, then transferred it to her personal bank account, it said.
When caught, Williams showed "a remarkable lack of remorse," insisting despite evidence to the contrary that she hadn't broken the law. She said she merely "borrowed" her clients money, which she said was "unethical" but not illegal, the prosecution said.
During the two years Williams' criminal case was before the courts, she traveled to North Carolina nearly a dozen times with the judge's permission to "serve and participate in a Living Waters Ministry certification retreat," court records say.
The website for Kingdom Alignment Ministry, Williams' new Christian counseling service, was created in May this year, the month before she agreed to plead guilty, website registration records show.