January 15, 2021

Caity Roach
Editor

Fraud Friday — Bookkeeper Gets 4 Years in Prison for Embezzling Over $1 Million from Medical Practice

“I got caught up in living a double life, things just spiraled out of control,” Anndrea Jacobs told the Judge at her sentencing hearing. 

Former Oregon medical practice office manager and bookkeeper, Anndrea D. Jacobs, was sentenced last week to four years in federal prison for diverting more than $1.1 million from the medical practice where she worked to support her lavish lifestyle.

This continues our coverage of a trend of small business owners giving their bookkeepers too much control of their accounts. This often results in a loss of millions of dollars and sometimes closure of the small business.

Prosecutors say that from January 2011 through December 2015, Jacobs used her position and access to the medical practice’s finances to steal money by writing business checks to herself to cover personal expenses. Money Jacobs embezzled paid for frequent meals out at high-end restaurants, local travel, shopping sprees, and vacation in Hawaii.

In an attempt to hide her illicit actions, Jacobs prepared false business financial records that overstated expenses and estimated tax payments. She then opened a business bank account in the medical practice owner’s name without his consent, deposited a business check payable to the Oregon Department of Revenue into her own personal account, gave the practice owner falsified property tax statements with total due balances of zero, and convinced the practice owner to grant her limited power of attorney to handle the practice’s pending IRS tax-collection action.

In her most brazen attempt to conceal the embezzlement, Jacobs created a fictitious identity as an IRS Taxpayer Advocate named “Linda Gibson.” Jacobs established a phone number and voicemail account for the fictitious identity and then pretended to aid the medical practice owner with his IRS tax collection issues.

In addition to serving four years in prison, Jacobs has been ordered to pay more than $1.2 million in restitution to two former employers, Wells Fargo Bank, and the IRS. 

Source: Department of Justice