(STL.News) – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced today that defendant Rachel E. Lipps (“LIPPS”), age 39, of Slidell, LA pled guilty, on July 29, 2020, to thirty-three counts of wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343 and a single count of aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A.
According to court documents, between January 2013 and October 2017, LIPPS served as a part-time bookkeeper for Business A. Business A was a Louisiana corporation domiciled in Slidell, Louisiana. LIPPS was entrusted with the daily accounting and her job functions included accessing and utilizing QuickBooks software to issue payroll checks and pay vendors on behalf of Business A. Using QuickBooks, LIPPS fraudulently printed and cashed checks made payable to herself and several of her creditors. On or about July 22, 2014, LIPPS forged the signature of Business A’s co-owner on a check despite not having the authority to do so. In all, LIPPS stole $473,978.53 from Business A and its owners.
The court set sentencing in this matter for November 10, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. If convicted of wire fraud, LIPPS faces a maximum term of imprisonment of twenty (20) years, a fine of not more than $250,000, three years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment, and a $100 special assessment fee for each count. If convicted of aggravated identity theft, LIPPS faces a mandatory consecutive sentence of two (2) years, a fine of no more than $250,000, a supervised release term of up to one (1) year following any term of imprisonment, and a $100 special assessment fee.
This matter was handled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Saint Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Duane A. Evans is prosecuting the case.