When it comes to personal finances, there are some instances in which people become desperate for money. When that occurs those people sometimes turn to unethical methods to obtain the money they need. Those unethical methods can lead to criminal charges being filed. St. Louis residents might like to learn about an ex-federal employee who pleaded guilty to charges stemming from schemes to steal money from her co-workers.
The woman, who worked for the USDA, pleaded guilty to identity theft and wire fraud. The four-year scheme lasted from Dec. 30, 2008, to Dec. 29, 2012. The actual loss from the scheme totaled $103,682 with a judgment entered for the woman to repay that amount. It is estimated that the woman attempted to steal even more money than that for a total of at least $113,282.
The victims included three co-workers, one of whom was blind. The blind co-worker is the one who suffered the greatest financial loss as a result of the fraud scheme. The woman charged $56,693 on the credit accounts of that co-worker. She also took out four personal loans from this co-worker totaling $48,171. The woman did repay $18,278 of the money she charged to the blind co-worker's credit accounts. She also tried to obtain a personal loan from a financial institution using the blind co-worker's name, but withdrew that application.
The woman attempted to open a joint credit account with another co-worker using his Social Security number and birth date without his consent.
Another co-worker had $16,096 removed from her credit account and sent to the woman's bank account and the woman's creditor's accounts. She also tried to transfer an additional $2,000.
The woman is still waiting for sentencing in the case. She faces up to 20 years without parole in a federal prison. She also faces a restitution order and up to $250,000 in fines.
If you find yourself facing fraud charges for something that you did out of desperation, an experienced St. Louis attorney well versed in federal charges can help you determine an appropriate defense for your case.
Source: The United States Attorneys Office - Western District of Missouri, "Former Federal Employee Pleads Guilty To $113,000 Scheme To Steal From Co-Workers" No author given, Dec. 18, 2013