Bookkeeper Pleads Guilty to Stealing over $150,000 From Employer and Evading Taxes
Greenbelt, Maryland - Diane Michelle Pimble, age 41, of Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty today to interstate transportation of stolen money and tax evasion.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge David Beach of the United States Secret Service – Washington Field Office; Chief Cathy L. Lanier of the Metropolitan Police Department; and Special Agent in Charge Rick A. Raven of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office.
“Falsifying receipts and records to conceal theft of employer funds is unethical,” said Rick A. Raven, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Washington DC Field Office. “Ms Pimble’s act of deliberately underreporting her embezzlement income on her federal tax returns is unlawful. IRS Criminal Investigation will continuously direct its efforts at the portion of individuals who willfully choose to evade their tax obligations.”
According to her plea agreement, from early 2008 through late 2011 Pimble worked as a bookkeeper for an individual residing in Maryland. Pimble managed her employer’s accounts, paid bills, organized financial information using an accounting software program called QuickBooks, and prepared reconciliation reports of her employer’s bank accounts. In order to help fulfill these duties, Pimble requested, and her employer gave her, a stamp bearing her employer’s signature that Pimble would use to sign her employer’s checks.
Pimble, however, wrote over 100 unauthorized checks to herself, ranging in amounts from $128.70 to $4,650, that drew off her employer’s bank accounts. She stamped these unauthorized checks with her employer’s signature, and transported them from Maryland to the District of Columbia where she lived, and cashed them at her local bank. Pimble concealed her fraud either by falsifying entries in her employer’s QuickBooks accounting program to show that the unauthorized checks supposedly had been made to other individuals or entities, or by failing to enter them at all into the accounting software. Pimble also wrote grossly inflated salary checks for herself and created falsified balance reports so that her employer, when reviewing the documents, would believe that the accounts were balanced. Pimble transported across state lines a minimum of $152,918.03 of her employer’s money that was taken by fraud.
Finally, for the tax years 2008, 2009 and 2010, Pimble filed false federal individual income tax returns with the IRS by not reporting the income she received through her embezzlement, resulting in additional tax owed totaling $26,697.
Pimble will be required to pay at least $152,918.03 in restitution to her employer and at least $26,697 to the IRS; and to forfeit at least $152,918.03.
Pimble faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for stealing money, and five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for tax evasion. U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte scheduled sentencing for January 29, 2013, at 9:30 a.m.
Today’s announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices and state and local partners, it’s the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,700 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the U.S. Secret Service, Metropolitan Police Department and IRS - Criminal Investigation for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein praised Assistant U.S. Attorney Sujit Raman, who is prosecuting the case.