News

Bookkeeper Sentenced to Prison for Stealing over $150,000 From Employer and Evading Taxes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 29, 2013

Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte sentenced Diane Michelle Pimble, age 41, of Washington, D.C., today to 14 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for interstate transportation of stolen money and tax evasion. Judge Messitte also ordered Pimble to pay restitution of $152,918.03 to her employer and $26,697 to the IRS.

The sentence 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 Acting Special Agent in Charge Sheila Olander of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office.

“IRS Criminal Investigation views embezzlement schemes as a form of organized tax evasion,” said Shelia Olander, Acting Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal investigation, Washington DC Field Office. “Tax evasion undermines the integrity of our system of taxation. Today’s sentence ensures the public that offenders of these types of schemes are being caught and punished.”

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, at Pimble’s request, 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, including grossly inflated salary checks for herself, 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, cashing 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 had been made to other individuals or entities, or by failing to enter them at all. Pimble also 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.

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 prosecuted the case.


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