A Madison woman faces nearly a dozen federal counts of fraud related to a self-publishing scheme in which she took money from victims.
Last week, a federal grand jury indicted Christine Favara Anderson, 51, of Reva on eight counts of wire fraud, three counts of mail fraud, one count of making a false statement and one count of concealing records in a federal investigation.
According to court documents, starting in 2014, Anderson owned and operated publishing companies Christine F. Anderson Publishing and Media (CFA) and Sage Wisdom. She allegedly took money from book authors by promising to be their publisher, but didn’t follow through, failing to pay authors royalties as owed and didn’t provide products or services as negotiated. The indictment states Anderson often used a false cancer diagnosis to delay payment to authors while also purporting to maintain wealth.
The indictment also alleges Anderson orchestrated a real estate scheme in which she signed contracts for expensive real estate, misrepresented her wealth through fraudulent proof of funds notes and was then unable to provide the earnest money deposits. She allegedly would sign bad checks for these deposits which wouldn’t clear. According to court documents, she attempted to purchase Aerie Farm in Orange for $1.8 million in December 2019; Crooked Run Farm in Paw Paw, WV for $3.7 million in March 2020; Walden Hall in Culpeper for $4.5 million in July 2020; a property on Lindsay Lane in Madison for $4.2 million in December 2020; a property in Carmine, TX for $6.7 million in January 2021; and Wagon Wheel Ranch in Winchester for $4.2 million in April 2021. She also allegedly took money from individuals helping her in these real estate schemes, including an author from Texas, but never paid them back. In addition to the false cancer diagnosis, Anderson allegedly stated that she could not access her wealth due to a variety of reasons including that an accountant had embezzled money from her and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and FBI had frozen her accounts.
This isn’t the first time Anderson has faced criminal charges. In April 2005, she was indicted in the Northern District of Illinois for securities fraud. After a guilty plea in June 2009, she was ordered to pay $155,000 in restitution. In July 2005, the SEC filed a complaint for violations of federal securities laws against Anderson. She entered into a consent judgement the following year and was ordered to pay a civil penalty of $100,000 and pay back $15,000 in ill-gotten gains. According to court documents, Anderson still owes the federal government more than $140,000 for her previous criminal judgement. A search warrant conducted by the FBI at Anderson’s Reva residence found she was printing checks for new real estate she was attempting to purchase worth more than $1 million. Court documents state she attempted to hide those checks, but they were discovered on her.
According to court records, she also supplied false information in a bankruptcy filing in 2020.
Anderson is being held in a corrections facility. She is being represented by federal public defender Don Pender and was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday.
The FBI and the Madison County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kate Rumsey and Madison County Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Wade Gelbert are prosecuting the case.