Sharon Lynn Dunlap Sentenced in U.S. District Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on June 4, 2010, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, SHARON LYNN DUNLAP, a 38-year-old resident of Red Lodge, appeared for sentencing. DUNLAP was sentenced to a term of:
- Prison: 36 months
- Special Assessment: $200
- Restitution: $69,602.46
- Supervised Release: 5 years
DUNLAP was sentenced in connection with her guilty plea to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan M Archer, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
DUNLAP was employed by Blackstone Operating, also doing business as Quantum Partnership, for approximately four years. Blackstone Operating is located in Red Lodge. In January of 2006, DUNLAP was promoted to head bookkeeper and office manager.
During the first week of May 2008, a Blackstone quarter-partner was reviewing financial statements when he noticed that DUNLAP'S bi-weekly salary had increased from $1,525 to $2,615. He confronted DUNLAP, who stated that she had given herself a raise. The raise had not been approved by the partners. This prompted the quarter-partner to look further into DUNLAP'S actions.
Additional inquiry and investigation revealed that between August 2006 and April 2008, DUNLAP wrote checks from Quantum's business checking account to her husband's concrete construction company, A & A Construction. A & A Construction never performed any work for Blackstone or Quantum. The checks totaled $37,168.12. DUNLAP'S practice was to write unauthorized checks using a signature stamp and deposit them into A & A's First Interstate checking account. Then, via online banking, DUNLAP would transfer the stolen funds into her personal First Interstate Bank account and use the funds for personal expenses.
Additionally, from October 2006 through May 2008, DUNLAP made numerous unauthorized purchases on Quantum's Discover credit card. The purchases totaled $28,013.50. The items she purchased ranged from personal vacation and travel for herself and family members (including hotels, airline tickets, a Disneyland trip, and hockey games), to miscellaneous expenses at Pet Smart and Wal-Mart, as well as jewelry. DUNLAP then paid the Discover Card bills with checks she wrote from the Quantum business checking account.
In addition to these offenses, DUNLAP also made unauthorized gasoline purchases with Quantum's Exxon Mobile and Conoco Phillips credit cards totaling $1,714.28, and overpaid herself $6,855.98. Quantum's fraud loss totaled $73,751.88.
DUNLAP provided a full confession of her fraudulent activities along with a written statement detailing her offense.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that DUNLAP will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, DUNLAP does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.
The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Secret Service.