March 27, 2015

Federal Court Sentences Defendant on Mail Fraud Charge

DAVENPORT, IA—On March 27, 2015, Johna Loreen Vandemore, also known as Johna Volger and Johna Ratliff, age 34, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Stephanie M. Rose to 18 months in prison, after pleading guilty to one count of mail fraud, announced United States Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefeldt. Vandemore was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release following the imprisonment, and to pay $100 towards the Crime Victims Fund. Vandemore was also ordered to pay $95,850 in restitution to the victim.

In 2007, Vandemore was involved in a short-term relationship with the victim, after which she informed him she was pregnant. The victim agreed to provide financial support, however, Vandemore demanded a lump sum or she would take him to court for more. There was no child. The victim agreed to make monthly payments of $1,000 plus all child related monthly expenses. The victim requested a copy of a birth certificate, and Vandemore provided a falsified birth certificate from a non-existent hospital. In order to obtain additional funds from the victim, Vandemore provided a false medical bill purporting to reflect past treatment of the fictitious child. When the victim requested pictures, Vandemore solicited pictures of a family member’s daughter, and forwarded these pictures to the victim misrepresenting them to be her child with the victim. Although Vandemore lived in Maquoketa, she directed the victim to make payments to a post office box in Bettendorf, Iowa. When her husband discovered and questioned her receipt of monthly $1,000 checks, she told him the payments were residual compensation from prior sales made with Herbalife. From August 5, 2007 to October 1, 2013, Vandemore received over 90 separate payments from the victim for a total of $95,850.00.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Bettendorf, Iowa, Police Department. The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.