01/05/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/05/2021 16:01
PORTLAND, Ore.-Anndrea D. Jacobs, 49, the former office manager and bookkeeper for a La Grande, Oregon medical practice was sentenced to federal prison today for defrauding two separate employers and filing false tax returns, announced U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams.
Jacobs, a resident of La Grande, was sentenced to four years in federal prison and five years' supervised release after previously pleading guilty to filing a false personal income tax return, falsely impersonating an IRS employee, aggravated identity theft, and bank fraud.
According to court documents, beginning on or about January 2011 and continuing until her termination in December 2015, Jacobs used her position and access to a medical practice's finances to steal money from the practice by, among other means, writing business checks to herself or for her own benefit. Jacobs used the stolen funds to make payments on personal credit cards and pay other personal expenses unrelated to the medical practice.
In an attempt to hide her illicit actions, Jacobs prepared and maintained false business financial records, overstating expenses and estimated tax payments. Further, without the knowledge or consent of the medical practice owner, she opened a business bank account in his name; deposited a business check payable to the Oregon Department of Revenue into her own personal account; gave the practice owner falsified property tax statements with total due balances of zero; and convinced the practice owner to grant her limited power of attorney to handle the practice's pending IRS tax-collection action.
In perhaps her most brazen attempt to conceal her embezzlement activity, Jacobs created a fictitious identity as an IRS Taxpayer Advocate named 'Linda Gibson'; established a phone number and voicemail account for the fictitious identity; and purported to assist the medical practice owner with his IRS tax collection issues while purporting to be 'Linda Gibson.'
On September 12, 2018, a federal grand jury in Portland returned a 15-count indictment charging Jacobs with wire fraud, filing false tax returns, aiding or assisting the preparation of false tax returns, falsely impersonating an employee of the U.S., and aggravated identity theft. On June 5, 2020, Jacobs' pre-trial release was revoked for committing bank fraud while embezzling from a second employer: a dental practice in Hood River. On June 9, 2020, Jacobs was indicted a second time for the new scheme.
During sentencing, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Marco A. Hernandez ordered Jacobs to pay more than $1.2 million in restitution to two former employers, Wells Fargo Bank, and the IRS.
The cases were investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation, the FBI, and the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Bounds.