U.S. Attorney's Office
Middle District of Tennessee
(615) 736-5151
July 23, 2014

Former University School of Jackson Employee Pleads Guilty to Wire and Tax Fraud

MEMPHIS, TN—Jessica Nicole Pinkerton, age 33, of Humboldt, Tennessee, pleaded guilty today to a criminal information charging her with one count of wire fraud and one count of tax fraud, announced Edward L. Stanton III, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee; A. Todd McCall, Special Agent in Charge of the Memphis Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Christopher A. Henry, Special Agent in Charge of the IRS-Criminal Investigation Nashville Field Office.

According to the criminal information and statements made in court, Pinkerton was employed as a financial services manager at the University School of Jackson (USJ) from 2008 to 2014. Beginning in late 2009 through early 2014, Pinkerton, in her capacity as financial services manager, initiated Automatic Clearing House (ACH) transfers of USJ funds into her personal bank account. Pinkerton also filed a 2013 IRS form 1040, stating that her earned income was $29,321 when it actually was $195,689.71. As a part of the plea agreement filed today, Pinkerton will owe restitution of $606,375.33 to the University School of Jackson and $143,168.37 to the Internal Revenue Service.

“This case underscores our unwavering commitment to bring to justice those who steal from others and brazenly line their pockets by committing white collar crimes,” said United States Attorney Stanton. “When employees such as Jessica Pinkerton scheme to fraudulently divert funds from employers, the United States Attorney’s Office will work with law enforcement partners to ensure those individuals are held accountable and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

“This plea is the result of the hard work of the FBI and our law enforcement partners in the pursuit of those who use fraud to line their pockets with other people’s money,” said Special Agent in Charge McCall. “It should send a signal that criminal behavior like this will not go undetected. We will find you, catch you, and you will be held accountable for your actions.”

“The IRS enforces the nation’s tax laws, but also takes particular interest in cases where someone, for their own personal benefit, has taken what belonged to others,” stated Special Agent in Charge Henry. “No matter what the source of income, all income is taxable. The prosecution of individuals who intentionally conceal income and evade taxes is a vital element of the IRS’ enforcement strategy. We are pleased with the successful resolution of this investigation due to the cooperative efforts of our law enforcement partners.”

Pinkerton faces a maximum penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and three years’ supervised release. Sentencing is scheduled for October 23, 2014 at 1:15 p.m. before Chief United States District Judge J. Daniel Breen.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation—Jackson Resident Agency, and the Internal Revenue Service—Criminal Investigation Division. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Victor L. Ivy on behalf of the government.

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