A woman from Milliken will report to the Weld County Jail next week, where she’ll begin serving a two-year jail sentence for an elaborate money-laundering scheme that unraveled in 2016. In December of 2019, Jana Koretko, 51, plead guilty to Money Laundering, a class 3 felony.
The guilty plea stems from her work as a digital publisher and author from 2014 through 2016. Koretko started as a romance, erotica, and fiction author. Her pen names included: Jana Leigh, Leigh Brock, Harley McRide, Zach Collins, RA Baker, Shelby Lynn and several others.
Koretko also started JK Publishing, where she signed several authors and published their work through various online book sites such as Amazon, iTunes, and Barnes & Noble.
In 2016, several authors believed Koretko was stealing royalties from them and reported her to the Weld County District Attorney’s Office. Investigators learned that Koretko was changing book sales reports from the online sites, and reporting fewer sales to her authors. In one case, Koretko stole nearly $100k from a single author, Avery Gale. Authors Lynn Ray Lewis, Ryder Dane, and several others also fell victim to Koretko’s scheme.
Investigators say Koretko hid her extra income and failed to properly report it on her taxes for several years.
The defendant then used these false tax returns when applying for financial aid to help pay for her daughters’ college education.
On February 14, Weld District Court Judge Thomas Quammen sentenced Koretko to two years of jail and 10 years of supervised probation. He also ordered her to pay nearly $197k back to her victims.