PORTLAND, Ore.—A Hillsboro, Oregon lady pleaded responsible these days for partaking in a multi-yr scheme to defraud her employer, a non-earnings adoption and surrogacy agency running in Oregon and Washington, and her extended household.
Melodie Ann Eckland, 55, pleaded responsible to wire fraud, aggravated identification theft, submitting a fake tax return, and willfully failing to obtain or shell out payroll taxes.
In accordance to court documents, from at minimum 2011 and continuing until eventually April 2018, Eckland was used as a bookkeeper for a regional adoption and surrogacy company. Her duties incorporated sustaining company books and information, running payroll, submitting employment tax returns, and paying quarterly employment taxes to the IRS. Eckland also supplied money statements to the agency’s board of administrators, but did not have signature authority around the organization’s enterprise lender account.
Eckland made use of her position to steal funds from the company by making unauthorized wire transfers and composing unauthorized checks to herself. Eckland also transferred company resources in the type of bonuses to her private lender account. To conceal her scheme, Eckland managed two sets of money information. One particular edition, which she presented to the board of directors, confirmed the enterprise guides as they really should have been maintained. The other version showed the true payments she produced to herself around the course of her work.
To deal with the cash she had stolen, Eckland applied for loans from at the very least 5 lending companies on behalf of the adoption agency, employing the names of the agency’s house owners without the need of their authorization. Eckland altered company economic data to make it surface as while she owned the agency and was authorized to enter into the personal loan agreements. Starting in 2016, Eckland stopped generating the agency’s quarterly work tax payments to the IRS and stopped submitting work tax returns. As a consequence, the agency owed far more than $94,000 in past because of employment taxes.
To further more conceal her scheme, Eckland stole resources from a bank account opened on behalf of her deceased brother-in-law’s estate. As executor of the estate, Eckland’s spouse was tasked with marketing his brother’s belongings, spending estate expenses, and preserving the remaining cash for the benefit of his brother’s youngsters. Eckland forged her husband’s signature on unauthorized estate checks and made unauthorized wire transfers of estate money to herself. She sent a portion of the additional than $123,000 stolen from the estate to the adoption agency’s lender account to conceal her theft of agency resources.
IRS documents indicated that Eckland did not report any of the embezzled funds on her federal money tax returns for 2013, 2014, and 2017. In 2015 and 2016, she documented much more than $550,000 as “other earnings,” but failed to pay out the taxes owing. Between 2013 and 2017, Eckland failed to report extra than $675,000 in income, ensuing in a tax loss of additional than $345,000. As a final result of her scheme, Eckland’s victims—including the adoption agency and its homeowners, her brother-in-law’s estate, and the IRS—suffered a overall reduction of a lot more than $1.5 million.
On June 2, 2021, Eckland was billed by legal information with wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, filing a bogus tax return, and willfully failing to accumulate or pay back payroll taxes.
Eckland faces a greatest sentence of 30 years in jail, a $750,000 great, and a few years’ supervised release. She will be sentenced on November 8, 2021 before U.S. District Courtroom Choose Marco A. Hernandez.
As portion of her plea settlement, Eckland has agreed to pay out restitution of up to $2.5 million and forfeit much more than $1.5 million in criminally derived proceeds seized by regulation enforcement.
Acting U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug of the District of Oregon built the announcement.
This situation was investigated by IRS-Prison Investigation and the Hillsboro Law enforcement Division. It is becoming prosecuted by Claire M. Fay, Assistant U.S. Legal professional for the District of Oregon.