Great Falls construction company official sentenced to 14 months in prison for embezzling from client
GREAT FALLS — The finance manager of William Tempel Construction in Great Falls was sentenced on April 12 to 14 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised released, for embezzling, as alleged by the government, more than $500,000 from a client who had hired the company to build her multi-million-dollar dream home, U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said.
Lynn Bapp Tempel, 60, pleaded guilty in October 2021 to wire fraud.
Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided. Chief Judge Morris also ordered restitution and set a subsequent hearing to determine the full amount. A plea agreement calls for Tempel to be responsible for complete restitution, which the government estimated is $519,524. Chief Judge Morris allowed Tempel to self-report to prison.
In court documents, the government alleged that Tempel managed the finances of William Tempel Construction, which the victim trusted, hired and paid $4.41 million to build a dream home. Instead, Lynn Tempel stole money from the victim from 2013 to 2016. When caught, Lynn Tempel did not admit her fraud, rather she falsified 153 subcontractor invoices to cover up her scheme. Lynn Tempel provided to the victim invoices in which she had fraudulently inflated the amount of payment required. Lynn Tempel also withdrew $566,848 in cash from the company’s business account during the period of the fraud. The government further alleged at sentencing that Lynn Tempel falsified IRS form 1099s for a family member, which underreported income for that family member by $399,525. Such an underreport then allowed the family member to illegally receive Medicaid.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan G. Weldon prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI and the Great Falls Police Department.