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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, December 15, 2014

Attorney's Legal Assistant Sentenced To Federal Prison For Two Years

ABINGDON, VIRGINIA – Mandie Marie Bishop, 34, of Big Stone Gap, Va., was sentenced today in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Abingdon to 24 months in federal prison for defrauding an elderly woman of $183,726.83.

United States District Judge James P. Jones imposed sentence based on Bishop’s September 25, 2014, guilty plea to two counts of bank fraud and one count of making false statements in a matter within the jurisdiction of the executive branch of the United States.

According to evidence presented at previous hearings, Bishop worked as a legal assistant in a law office located in Lee County, Virginia.  Bishop’s employer, an attorney in Lee County, Virginia, became conservator of an elderly woman’s assets in late December 2011.  Bishop’s employer allowed Bishop to access the elderly woman’s bank accounts at Farmers and Miners Bank and Lee Bank and Trust Company, but Bishop did not have signature authority on the accounts.  As early as January 17, 2012, Bishop began fraudulently issuing and cashing checks from the elderly woman’s accounts.  Between January 17, 2012, and May 16, 2013, Bishop caused $106,672.37 to be fraudulently obtained from the elderly woman’s bank account at Lee Bank and Trust Company.  Between June 29, 2012 and May 16, 2013, Bishop caused at least $11,382.90 to be fraudulently obtained from the checking account at Farmers and Miners Bank.  On May 16, 2013, after Farmers and Miners Bank made her employer aware of the fraudulent activity at the bank, her employer deposited $10,558.25 into the account to replace a portion of the missing funds.

Bishop continued in her role as a secretary and assistant with the same employer and between May 17, 2013, and December 10, 2013, caused at least an additional $53,002.82 to fraudulently be obtained from the elderly woman’s checking account.  In addition, the victim incurred $12,668.74 in unnecessary expenses.   The Court ordered Bishop to make restitution for the total amount of loss incurred by the victim -- $183,726.83.  To date, Bishop’s employer has repaid $104,990.15.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the United States Secret Service.  Assistant United States Attorney Randy Ramseyer prosecuted the case for the United States.

Updated April 10, 2015