Former Comptroller of Albuquerque Construction Company Pleads Guilty to Federal Fraud and Identity Theft Charges
Defendant Required to Pay Restitution currently Estimated at $2,409,901.00
ALBUQUERQUE – U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez and Special Agent in Charge Waldemar Rodriguez of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in El Paso, Texas, announced today that Stephanie Pyle, 40, of Albuquerque, N.M., pleaded guilty to federal fraud and identity theft charges.
Pyle was charged on Feb. 10, 2015, in a 12-count indictment alleging that between Jan. 2010 and May 2014, Pyle used credit cards and account numbers in the name of a construction company without authorization and with the intent to defraud the company. Counts 1 through 6 of the indictment charged Pyle with defrauding the company of approximately $1,531,124.00 during a five-year period. Counts 6 through 12 of the indictment charged Pyle with using the identity of another person to commit the fraudulent acts charged in Counts 1 through 6. At the time of the offenses charged in the indictment, Pyle was employed as the comptroller for the Albuquerque-based construction company that was the victim of Pyle’s criminal conduct.
Today Pyle pled guilty to Counts 1 and 7 of the indictment. In her plea agreement, Pyle admitted that while working as the comptroller for the company that was the victim of her criminal conduct, she obtained a credit card in her name that was linked to a credit card account in the name of one of the co-owners of the company. Pyle changed the address on the account to reflect her home address so that her employer would not see the statements of expenditures made on the credit card. Using her position as comptroller, Pyle arranged for the company to pay off the credit card balances on a frequent basis. Pyle admitted making thousands of personal charges and purchases on the credit card that she was not authorized to make. She also admitted using the name and credit card account of her employer without authorization to facilitate her criminal conduct.
At sentencing, Pyle faces a statutory maximum penalty of ten years in prison for her conviction on Count 1 of the indictment, an access device fraud charge. She also faces a mandatory two years in prison that must be served consecutive to any sentence imposed on Count 1 for her conviction on Count 7, an aggravated identity theft charge. Pyle also will be required to pay restitution in an amount to be determined by the court which is currently estimated at $2,409,910.00.
The case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of HSI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy Peña.