Woman steals $872K from Allendale hotel

JENISON — While making the plea, 39-year-old Renata Nicole Annese agreed to pay restitution of approximately $872,000. She will also forfeit her equity interest in her personal residence in Jenison because she used the fraud to make her mortgage payments.

From October 2006 to April 2013, Annese used interstate wires to defraud the former owner of the Sleep Inn hotel in Allendale of nearly $1 million, said U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles. Annese used the Internet so that she could edit data related to the hotel’s credit card sales. She then inserted her own personal credit card and bank debit card numbers on the payment side of many of those transactions, causing the hotel customers’ cards to be charged, but directed the customers’ banks to send the payments to Annese’s credit and debit cards instead of to the hotel’s bank account.

Miles said the hotel’s lost revenue led to the owner to sell the hotel in 2013 because of its struggling financial performance. The now-former owner did not learn of Annese’s fraud until shortly after the sale, Miles said.

A federal indictment for Annese was made in November 2014. The FBI conducted the investigation.

Annese will be sentenced May 18, at which time she will face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

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Posted by Tribune News Services

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