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Press Release

Fort Collins Bookkeeper Sentenced for Mail Fraud and Money Laundering

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Colorado

Denver - Rose Horne, formerly of Fort Collins, Colorado, was sentenced yesterday to 36 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, and $977,115.87 in restitution for mail fraud and money laundering.

According to court documents, Horne worked as a bookkeeper for a small, family-run plumbing business in Fort Collins for 27 years. From at least October 2005 through June 2011, Horne engaged in a scheme to embezzle over $1 million from her employer. As part of her scheme, Horne wrote approximately 170 unauthorized checks to herself from her employer’s payroll bank account. Horne, who did not have signature authority for the business bank accounts, forged signatures on some checks or presented checks to the authorized signatories under the guise that the checks were for business expenses.  Additionally, Horne obtained a personal credit card from Chase Bank, knowing the business also had a Chase credit card account, so that checks made payable to Chase Bank to pay her personal credit card bills would not raise questions. 

Horne attempted to conceal the theft by writing “void” on check stubs, falsely writing the name of an actual vendor on the check stubs, and by cutting and blacking out portions of her employer’s bank statements that included copies of the checks in question.

“Frauds like this one can be financially and emotionally devastating to small business owners,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Matt Kirsch. “Ms. Horne ran but ultimately could not hide from the consequences of her crimes.”

Horne was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Robert E. Blackburn after pleading guilty on May 5, 2021. She was indicted on March 11, 2014 and remained a fugitive until her arrest in California in June 2020.

“IRS-Criminal Investigation will use all its available resources to pursue those who defraud American taxpayers” said Andy Tsui, IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge, Denver Field Office. “Horne abused the trust bestowed upon her by her employer, fled when her illegal activities were discovered, and is now being held accountable for her actions.”

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Pegeen D. Rhyne.

Case No. 14-cr-00093-REB



Updated August 23, 2021