A woman who embezzled unemployment insurance benefits while working at Iowa Workforce Development was sentenced today to 4 years in federal prison.
Linda F. Pippen, age 42, from Fairfax, Iowa, received the prison term after a December 28, 2011 guilty plea to one charge of embezzlement from a program receiving federal funds and one count of aggravated identity theft.
In a plea agreement, Pippen admitted that, from at least May 20, 2008, to November 6, 2009, while employed as a Workforce Advisor at Iowa Workforce Development in Cedar Rapids, she embezzled approximately $43,582.42 in unemployment insurance funds. Pippen admitted she altered the computerized accounts of individuals who had been receiving unemployment benefits through Iowa Workforce Development. Pippen caused the accounts to inaccurately reflect that the individuals should continue to receive unemployment benefits after the individuals were no longer eligible to receive benefits. Pippen also altered bank account and routing numbers associated with the accounts so that funds were fraudulently directed to bank accounts under her control. Pippen admitted that, as part of her offense, she abused the authority of her position and misused the identities of several people.
Pippen was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade. Pippen was sentenced to 48 months’ imprisonment. A special assessment of $200 was imposed, and she was ordered to pay $43,582.42 in restitution to Iowa Work Force Development. She must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.
Pippen was released on the bond previously set and is to surrender to the United States Marshal on April 5, 2012, who will then transport her to a federal prison.