Fort Collins bookkeeper sentenced to 36 months in prison

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(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

DENVER – Former Fort Collins, Colo. resident Rose Horne was sentenced to 36 months in prison with three years of supervised release in addition to $977,115.87 in mail fraud restitution and money laundering charges after embezzling from her employer. She was indicted on March 11, 2014, was a fugitive living in California until her arrest in June of 2020.

Horne pled guilty on May 5, 2021.

Horne worked as a bookkeeper for a small, family-operated plumbing company in Fort Collins for 27 years. Between Oct. of 2005 until June 2011, Horne began embezzling over $1 million from her employer by writing over 170 unauthorized checks to herself from the payroll bank account.

She also got a Chase Bank credit card in order to parallel her employer’s Chase credit card account so that checks made payable to Chase Bank would go into her personal account.

Horne attempted to cover up her theft by writing “void” on check stubs, falsely writing the name of actual vendors on the check stubs as well as cutting and blacking out portions of her employer’s bank statements, including copies of the checks themselves.

“Frauds like this one can be financially and emotionally devastating to small business owners,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Matt Kirsch. “Ms. Horne ran but ultimately could not hide from the consequences of her crimes.”

“The IRS-Criminal Investigation will use all its available resources to pursue those who defraud American taxpayers,” said Andy Tsui, IRS-Criminal Investigation special agent in charge in the Denver Field Office. “Horne abused the trust bestowed upon her by her employer, fled when her illegal activities were discovered, and is now being held accountable for her actions.”

To learn more about the United States Department of Justice, visit the website here.

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