Susan Rose Rae Sentenced in U.S. District Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on September 6, 2011, before Senior U.S. District Judge Jack D. Shanstrom, SUSAN ROSE RAE, a 40-year-old resident of Roundup, appeared for sentencing. RAE was sentenced to a term of:
Prison: 57 months
Special Assessment: $200
Restitution: to be determined
Supervised Release: 5 years
RAE was sentenced in connection with her guilty plea to bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carl E. Rostad, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
Beginning on or about March 21, 2007, RAE began using the names and identifiers of family members to obtain loans and credit cards. Over the next two years, RAE used those names and identifiers to get approximately $337,000 from a myriad of banks and credit card companies. Many of the loans were student loans. Credit card accounts were opened and loans were taken out in, or using, the names of cousins and their husbands, an aunt, and her own husband. Most of the financial institutions - either the source of student loans or credit cards - were federally insured.
The scheme came to light when her family members began to find the accounts on their credit reports and had difficulty getting credit. RAE told one of her cousins, when an account he did not open appeared on his credit report, that the debt listed was an error and that she would resolve it with an attorney she knew named Lucy MacRenolds. RAE said MacRenolds was previously from Roundup but was practicing law in Utah. She gave her cousin a website for attorney MacRenolds. When the cousin called the 800 number listed on the website, he discovered that the telephone calls for this number were forwarded to RAE's personal cellular telephone number. RAE later admitted to him that there was no attorney named Lucy MacRenolds. RAE had created a website titled "www.MacRenoldsatLaw.com" and tried to use this as a way to lull her cousin into a sense of security about the state of his finances. RAE sent e-mails to her cousin, using the name of MacRenolds, assuring him that the problems with his credit were being taken care of, which RAE knew to be untrue. In those e-mails, as attorney MacRenolds, RAE told the cousin "not to speak with any of the companies on your [credit] report." When the ruse was discovered, RAE asked the cousin not to go to the police, assuring him that she would find the funds to pay off the debts.
During 2008, RAE obtained approximately $30,000 from the mother of two cousins in whose names she, RAE, had taken out student loans. She told this mother that she could pay off the student loans of one of the cousins at a discounted rate. RAE took the money from the mother, who had cashed in her retirement savings to generate the monies given to RAE, but none of the funds were used to reduce or eliminate the student loan debt as promised. By cashing in Certificates of Deposit prior to maturity, the mother of the victim was penalized for the withdrawals.
At a family meeting on September 16, 2009, RAE admitted to her family that she had taken the loans in the names of family members without their knowledge and agreed to repay the money. She acknowledged the conversion of the $30,000 from the mother of one of the victims and agreed to repay that amount as well.
Once the FBI began investigating the matter, RAE attempted to get the loans all put in her own name. When interviewed by the FBI, she admitted to the scheme.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that RAE will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, RAE 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation.