Employee pleads to embezzlement, filing false return

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COEUR d’ALENE — Jamie Gillette, 53, of Bonners Ferry, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and making and subscribing a false tax return, U.S. Attorney Bart Davis said Thursday.

Gillette waived indictment and pleaded guilty to a two-count criminal information filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

From about 2011 through about 2015, court records show, Gillette devised a scheme to defraud and misappropriate without authority money and property belonging to her employer, Bendable Bright Light.

Gillette had access to the company’s bank account at Mountain West Bank, both as signor on the account and through an online payment portal. Using this access, Gillette issued checks from the company account to her personal bank account at Navy Federal Credit Union. She also made online payments from Bright Light’s account for personal expenses associated with her accounts without the company’s knowledge or authorization.

The total amount of money that Gillette misappropriated will be determined at her sentencing hearing.

According to court records, on or about April 7, 2014, Gillette electronically signed and filed a Form 1040 federal income tax return for the calendar year 2013 that she knew contained false information. Specifically, on Line 22 “Total Income,” she reported that her taxable income for the calendar year 2013 was $8,003, when she knew that her taxable income was much greater.

Law enforcement agents interviewed Gillette on Aug. 30, 2017, court records show. She stated she was a paid employee of Bendable Bright Light and earned $65,000 per year. Gillette admitted that she did not pay taxes on all the income she received in 2011 through 2015.

For the wire fraud count, Gillette faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, a $250,000 fine, and not more than three years of supervised release. For the false tax return count, Gillette faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years, a $100,000 fine, and not more than three years of supervised release.

Gillette’s sentencing is set for Jan. 15, 2020, before Chief U.S. District Judge David Nye at the federal courthouse in Coeur d’Alene.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division.

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