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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 6, 2015

Dubuque Man Pleads Guilty To Wire Fraud And Filing False Tax Returns

Contact: Steve Young

A former Controller of a Dubuque company, who embezzled more $340,000 from the company, pled guilty today to one count of wire fraud and one count of filing false tax returns.

In a plea agreement, Michael Schute, age 50, from Dubuque, Iowa, admitted he embezzled the money from the company between 2008 until he was fired in April 2013.  Schute embezzled the money by writing checks on the company bank account to pay personal credit cards and other bills.  Schute then concealed this conduct by falsifying the company books to make it appear the funds were expended on company debts.  When filing his tax returns for the tax years 2008 through 2013, Schute falsely concealed the funds he received from the embezzlement for his own personal use.  Illegal income is taxable. 

Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade will be set after a presentence report is prepared.  Schute remains free on bond pending sentencing.  Schute faces a possible maximum sentence of 23 years’ imprisonment, a $500,000 fine, or twice the amount of funds embezzled, $200 in special assessments, and up to four years of supervised release following any imprisonment.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney C.J. Williams and was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service and the Dubuque Police Department.

Court file information is available at ttps://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.  The case file number is 15-cr-1003-LRR.

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Updated February 19, 2015