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Local publisher, erotica author sentenced to jail, ordered to pay back $197K back to clients

Posted on 02/28/2020
Jana Koretko MugshotGREELEY, Colo. (Weld County D.A.) – A Milliken woman 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.

“This was a complicated white-collar scheme that took years to unfold,” Deputy District Attorney Andrew Rogers said. “This was not a mistake or an accounting error; this was a serious crime. The defendant’s conduct injured innocent people not just in our community here in Colorado, but also internationally.”

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.

“I’m going to hold your feet to the fire,” Judge Quammen told the defendant. “Paying back this restitution is a specific condition of your probation. If you do not pay this restitution on probation, you certainly can not pay it while in prison.”

If Koretko is unsuccessful on probation, she faces up to 12 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections.

Weld County District Attorney’s retired Chief Investigator Keith Olsen, and Peter Muggli with the Colorado Department of Revenue were the lead investigators.

Deputy District Attorneys Andrew Rogers and Lacy Wells prosecuted this case.