A Bozeman woman who admitted embezzling more than $400,000 while working as a bookkeeper for several businesses was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to pay $423,245 restitution, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said on Friday, Oct. 16, 2020.
Anna Michelle Niles, 47, pleaded guilty on June 3 to wire fraud.
U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen presided.
In a sentencing memo filed in the case, the prosecution recommended a sentence within the guideline range, which was 27 months to 33 months.
The prosecution said in court documents that from 2009 until 2018, Niles embezzled from Cresent Cross, LLP, Clair W. Daines, Inc., Genesis Partners, LLC, Bitterroot Turf Farm, Inc., and other related business entities while performing bookkeeping and accounting services. Niles defrauded the firms by diverting funds through checks, stealing cash, claiming leave she was not entitled to obtain, receiving unauthorized 401(k) loan payments and using business credit cards on personal expenses, none of which was authorized. The investigation found that Niles embezzled about $433,018 from the businesses. When interviewed by the FBI, Niles admitted to stealing from Cresent Cross, LLP, and writing checks from other businesses to cover up the fraud.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Weldon prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI.