News and Press Releases

Cynthia Jane Rasmussen Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Helena, on November 18, 2010, before Senior U.S. District Judge Charles C. Lovell, CYNTHIA JANE RASMUSSEN, a 55-year-old resident of Kalispell, appeared for sentencing. RASMUSSEN was sentenced to a term of:

  • Prison: 21 months
  • Special Assessment: $100
  • Restitution: $160,218.74
  • Supervised Release: 3 years

RASMUSSEN was sentenced in connection with her guilty plea to wire fraud.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Racicot, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

From 2004 until February 2008, RASMUSSEN was employed in the Kalispell area by the Montana Academy. On approximately February 14, 2008, one of her employers approached RASMUSSEN about tensions in the office among members of the administrative staff. During that conversation, RASMUSSEN admitted stealing approximately $10,000 from the Montana Academy via unauthorized payroll deposits. Approximately one week later, RASMUSSEN presented her employer with a typed accounting of what she had stolen. That accounting showed that RASMUSSEN had taken approximately $72,000.

A review of Montana Academy's and RASMUSSEN's bank records revealed that beginning in about 2005 and continuing until February of 2008, RASMUSSEN stole funds under her control from Montana Academy. RASMUSSEN effected her scheme by writing herself multiple payroll paychecks or increasing her salary when she processed the payroll electronically. She also used a company credit card for personal expenses. RASMUSSEN disguised her activities by falsely coding checks and electronic transfers in the accounting system as payments to vendors, other companies, and voided checks.

Between January 2005 and December 2006, more than $250,000 from Montana Academy was deposited into accounts under RASMUSSEN's control. A review of Montana Academy's accounting program showed that RASMUSSEN reported paying herself approximately $40,000 in both 2005 and 2006. During 2007, more than $170,000 from the Montana Academy was deposited into accounts under RASMUSSEN's control. And RASMUSSEN continued to issue herself checks from the Montana Academy for several days after she was placed on administrative leave in February 2008.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that RASMUSSEN will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, RASMUSSEN 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 a cooperative effort between U.S. Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Secret Service.



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