andrea Mackowiak Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Missoula on May 5, 2009, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch, ANDREA MACKOWIAK, a 33-year-old resident of Columbia Falls, pled guilty to aggravated identity theft. Sentencing is set for July 31, 2009. She is currently released on special conditions.
In an Offer of Proof filed by the United States, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
During 2006, MACKOWIAK was employed at an orthopedic clinic in Whitefish.
Beginning in August of 2006, MACKOWIAK obtained from clinic records the Social Security account numbers of several clinic patients, as well as their names and dates of birth. MACKOWIAK then knowingly provided this information to a person in the State of Washington. The person in Washington to whom the information was communicated was a close friend of MACKOWIAK who had asked her to obtain the personal information for the purpose of setting up telephone accounts which could be used by people in prison.
The patient names, dates of birth and Social Security account numbers obtained by MACKOWIAK from the clinic in Montana were used to open fraudulent accounts with Qwest Communications in the State of Washington.
From August through December 2006, the fraudulent Qwest Communications accounts opened in the State of Washington with the personal information taken from the clinic records in Montana were used to obtain telecommunications services from Qwest without paying for such services.
MACKOWIAK faces possible penalties of 2 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 1 year supervised release.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. Lahr prosecuted the case for the United States.
The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Secret Service.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.