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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

Friday, February 2, 2018

Former Pacifica Resident Sentenced To Prison For Bank And Tax Fraud

SAN FRANCISCO – Krisinda Messer was sentenced today to 27 months in prison and was ordered to pay $541,617.52 in restitution for bank fraud and making and subscribing a false tax return, announced Acting United States Attorney Alex G. Tse and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Special Agent in Charge Michael T. Batdorf.  The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Charles R. Breyer, U.S. District Court Judge, following Messer’s plea of guilty to the charges.

A federal grand jury indicted Messer, 38, of Pope Valley, Calif., and formerly of Pacifica, Calif., on May 12, 2015, charging her with twelve counts of bank fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1344(2); four counts of aggravated identity theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A(a)(1); and three counts of making and subscribing false tax returns, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7206(1).  On May 10, 2017, Messer pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud and one count of making and subscribing a false tax return.  

According to the plea agreement, Messer admitted that from 2007 until 2011, she was employed as a bookkeeper by delicatessens in San Francisco.  Beginning in May 2008, and continuing through August 2011, Messer created 130 fraudulent checks totaling $436,396.52, 128 of which were payable by the delicatessens to American Backflow Company, a company owned by Messer’s relative.  American Backflow Company was not a creditor of Messer’s employers and there was no business relationship between them.  Messer forged the signature of the owner of the delicatessens on most of the checks.  In order to conceal these checks from her employer, Messer created a fake company account on QuickBooks and used the fake company to produce checks written to American Backflow Company so that they would not appear in the books.  

In addition to the prison term, Judge Breyer also sentenced the defendant to a three-year period of supervised release.  The defendant will begin serving the sentence on May 1, 2018.  

Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia Stier is prosecuting the case.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the IRS-CI.  

Updated February 2, 2018