Woman involved in check kiting scheme sentenced

MARQUETTE — An Ishpeming woman accused of writing checks as part of a multi-million dollar check kiting scheme was sentenced Monday morning in United States District Court.

Brooke Lynn Vernier, also known as Brooke Ferns, received a sentence of 18 months in prison plus two years of supervised release on one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. The sentencing guidelines called for a sentence of 37-46 months in prison.

The FBI began looking into Vernier five years ago when she worked at Oasis Operating, Incorporated. Vernier was writing checks for three different businesses she was a part of: Oasis Operating, Inc., Oasis Fuels, Inc., and Refresh & Refuel, Inc. Authorities discovered that Vernier wrote thousands of bad checks totaling $145 million throughout seven different bank accounts in order to keep the businesses afloat.

In addition to her prison sentence, Vernier will repay a portion of the $1.78 million in restitution owed to Ishpeming Community Federal Credit Union, now known as TruNorth Federal Credit Union.