Slidell Woman Charged With Wire Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft
NEW ORLEANS - U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced today that RACHEL E. LIPPS age 38, of Slidell, LA was charged on Friday, July 19, 2019 in an indictment for wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343 and aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A.
According to the indictment, between January 2013 and October 2017, LIPPS served as a part-time bookkeeper for Business A. Business A was a Louisiana corporation domiciled in Slidell, Louisiana. LIPPS was entrusted with the daily accounting and her job functions included accessing and utilizing QuickBooks software to issue payroll checks and pay vendors on behalf of Business A. Using QuickBooks, LIPPS fraudulently printed checks made payable to herself and several of her creditors. LIPPS endorsed each check despite not having authority to sign the checks. Business A terminated LIPPS’s employment in October 2017.
Business A maintained a financial account with J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. (“Chase Bank”) bearing number *****8595. The checks listed in the indictment were associated with this particular account. The check images received by Chase Bank either from a branch location, ATM, mobile app, computer, or other method were transmitted to computer servers located in Michigan, Illinois, or Delaware. The sum of the checks charged in the indictment is $50,387.88.
If convicted of wire fraud, LIPPS faces a maximum term of imprisonment of twenty (20) years, a fine of not more than $250,000, three years supervised release following any term of imprisonment, and a $100 special assessment fee. If convicted of aggravated identity theft, LIPPS faces a mandatory consecutive sentence of two (2) years, a fine of no more than $250,000, supervised release term up to one (1) year following any term of imprisonment, and a $100 special assessment fee.
United States Attorney Strasser reiterated that an Indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter was handled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Duane A. Evans is prosecuting the matter.