Bookkeeper Pleads Guilty To Stealing Over $179,000 From Her Employer
Fraudulently Increased Her Salary and Wrote Forged Company Checks to Herself and Others
Greenbelt, Maryland – Jessica Lee Warner, age 39, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty today to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Kathy A. Michalko of the United States Secret Service - Washington Field Office; and Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department.
According to her plea, Warner was the bookkeeper for a company located in Montgomery County, responsible for electronically submitting employee payroll information to a payroll processing service. From 2007 to December 2012, Warner fraudulently used her position as a bookkeeper to increase her salary, and write checks from her employer’s bank accounts to herself and others, forging the signature of an individual who had signatory authority on the company’s checking accounts. Warner deposited the forged checks into her own bank account.
Warner has agreed to pay restitution of at least $179,647.16, the amount she stole from her employer.
Warner faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for wire fraud, and a mandatory minimum of two years in prison consecutive to any other sentence for aggravated identity theft. U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm scheduled her sentencing for August 31, 2015, at 9:30 a.m.
The Maryland Identity Theft Working Group has been working since 2006 to foster cooperation among local, state, federal, and institutional fraud investigators and to promote effective prosecution of identity theft schemes by both state and federal prosecutors. This case, as well as other cases brought by members of the Working Group, demonstrates the commitment of law enforcement agencies to work with financial institutions and businesses to address identity fraud, identify those who compromise personal identity information, and protect citizens from identity theft.
Today’s announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices and state and local partners, it’s the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Since the inception of FFETF in November 2009, the Justice Department has filed more than 12,841 financial fraud cases against nearly 18,737 defendants including nearly 3,500 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the U.S. Secret Service and Montgomery County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas P. Windom and Leah Jo Bressack, who are prosecuting the case.