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Fort Collins Bookkeeper Pleads Guilty to Mail Fraud and Money Laundering

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 DENVER – The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado announced that Rose Horne, age 66, formerly of Fort Collins, Colorado pleaded guilty today to mail fraud and money laundering.  Horne was indicted on March 11, 2014, and was a fugitive until her arrest in California in June 2020.  She is now scheduled to be sentenced in federal court in Denver before U.S. District Court Judge Robert E. Blackburn on August 19, 2021.

According to court documents, Horne worked as a bookkeeper for a small family-run plumbing business in Fort Collins for 27 years.  From at least October 2005 through June 2011, Horne devised a scheme to steal over $1 million from her employer.  As part of her scheme, Horne wrote approximately 170 unauthorized checks to herself from her employer’s payroll bank account.   Horne used unauthorized checks drawn on her employer’s general business accounts to pay her personal balances as well as other personal bills.  Horne forged the owner’s signature on some checks or presented checks to the authorized signatories under the guise the checks were to pay business expenses.  Horne attempted to conceal the theft by writing void on check stubs, falsely writing the name of an actual vendor on the check stubs, and by cutting and blacking out portions of her employer’s bank statements that included copies of the checks in question.

Mail fraud carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of not more than $250,000 or twice the gain or loss from the offense, and restitution.  Engaging in a monetary transaction with proceeds derived from criminal activity carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of not more than $250,000. 

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Pegeen D. Rhyne.


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