Maryland bookkeeper guilty of $150K embezzlement, tax fraud

A Maryland bookkeeper was sentenced to more than a year in prison for embezzling from a client and not reporting income on her personal tax returns. The federal charges also included interstate transportation of stolen money.

Diane Michelle Pimble, age 41, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte to 14 months in federal prision, followed by three years of supervised release. She was also ordered to pay $152,918.03 in restitution to her employer and $26,697 to the IRS.

"IRS Criminal Investigation views embezzlement schemes as a form of organized tax evasion," said Shelia Olander, Acting Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal investigation, Washington DC Field Office. "Tax evasion undermines the integrity of our system of taxation. Today's sentence ensures the public that offenders of these types of schemes are being caught and punished."

According to a plea agreement, from early 2008 through late 2011 Pimble worked as a bookkeeper for an individual residing in Maryland. Pimble managed her employer's accounts, paid bills, organized financial information using an accounting software program called QuickBooks, and prepared reconciliation reports of her employer's bank accounts. In order to help fulfill these duties, at Pimble's request, her employer gave her a stamp bearing her employer's signature that Pimble would use to sign her employer's checks.

Pimble, however, wrote over 100 unauthorized checks to herself, including grossly inflated salary checks for herself, that drew off her employer's bank accounts. She stamped these unauthorized checks with her employer's signature, and transported them from Maryland to the District of Columbia, cashing them at her local bank. Pimble concealed her fraud either by falsifying entries in her employer's QuickBooks accounting program to show that the unauthorized checks had been made to other individuals or entities, or by failing to enter them at all. Pimble also created falsified balance reports so that her employer, when reviewing the documents, would believe that the accounts were balanced. Pimble transported across state lines a minimum of $152,918.03 of her employer's money that was taken by fraud.

Finally, for tax years 2008, 2009 and 2010, Pimble filed false federal individual income tax returns with the IRS by not reporting the income she received through her embezzlement, resulting in additional tax owed totaling $26,697.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the U.S. Secret Service, Metropolitan Police Department and IRS - Criminal Investigation for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein praised Assistant U.S. Attorney Sujit Raman, who prosecuted the case.

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Copyright 2013 States News Service

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