Hubbard Woman Pleads Guilty to Bank Fraud
A woman who forged a court order for a purported structured settlement in support of her request for a bank loan, and who forged a separate letter purporting to be from a United States Department of Justice official, pled guilty on July 23, 2014, in federal court in Cedar Rapids.
Stephanie Drake (formerly known as Stephanie Drake-Zierke), age 50, from Hubbard, Iowa, was convicted of one count of bank fraud and one count of unlawful manufacture and possession of a United States Department of Justice seal.
In a plea agreement, Drake admitted that, between about March 2009 and September 2012, she fraudulently induced a bank to loan her money by falsely claiming that her husband had been awarded a legal settlement in the amount of $2,200,000. Drake also admitted presenting a fabricated document to the bank purporting to be a court order for the legal settlement. Drake also admitted defrauding the same bank by presenting falsified loan paperwork indicating her husband’s parents had agreed to guarantee a loan of up to $162,600. Drake admitted that, between May 2008 and September 2012, the bank loaned her a total of at least $483,513.51. Drake admitted her conduct resulted in a loss to the bank of more than $400,000.
Also in the plea agreement, Drake admitted that, in about January of 2012, she unlawfully manufactured and possessed a seal of the United States Department of Justice. Drake admitted she forged a letter to her husband, dated January 23, 2012, that bore the seal and purported to be from the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa. Drake admitted forging the letter in an attempt to substantiate a false claim that her husband was cooperating with federal authorities in a theft investigation.
Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade will be set after a presentence report is prepared. Drake remains free on bond pending sentencing. Drake faces a possible maximum sentence of 30 years’ and 6 months’ imprisonment, a $1,005,000 fine, $110 in special assessments, and five years of supervised release following any imprisonment.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Peter Deegan and was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Hardin County, Iowa, Sheriff’s Office.
Court file information is available at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl. The case file number is 14-CR-2032.