ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A 40-year-old New Mexico woman was sentenced Friday to 4 ½ years in federal prison following her conviction on fraud and aggravated identity theft.
Special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigated this case.
Stephanie Pyle was sentenced to 30 months in prison for her conviction on the fraud charge, and 24 months in prison for her conviction on an aggravated identity theft charge. Since identity theft sentences must be served consecutively to sentences on other convictions, Pyle’s total sentence is 54 months in federal prison. Pyle was also ordered to pay $2,409,901 in restitution to the victims of her criminal conduct, and must serve three years of supervised release.
Pyle was charged Feb. 10 in a 12-count indictment alleging that between January 2010 and May 2014, she used credit cards and account numbers in her employer’s name without authorization and with the intent to defraud her employer. Counts 1 through 6 of the indictment charged Pyle with defrauding her employer of about $1,531,124 during five years. Counts 6 through 12 of the indictment charged Pyle with using the identity of another person to commit the fraudulent acts charged in counts 1 through 6. At the time of the offenses charged in the indictment, Pyle was the comptroller for the Albuquerque construction company that was the victim of her criminal conduct.
On May 19, Pyle pleaded guilty to counts 1 and 7 of the indictment. In her plea agreement, Pyle admitted that while she was the comptroller for the company that was the victim of her criminal conduct, she obtained a credit card in her name that was linked to a credit card account in the name of one of the company’s co-owners. Pyle changed the address on the account to reflect her home address so that her employer would not see the statements of expenditures made on the credit card.
Using her position as comptroller, Pyle arranged for the company to frequently pay off the credit card balances. Pyle admitted making thousands of personal charges and purchases on the credit card that she was not authorized to make. She also admitted using the name and credit card account of her employer without authorization to facilitate her criminal conduct.