Pueblo woman sentenced for tax crimes, ordered to pay more than $1M

DENVER (KKTV) - UPDATE 2/6/18:
A Pueblo woman was sentenced to prison and ordered to pay more than $1 million.

Kimberly Pitts, 48, was sentenced last week by U.S. District Court Judge Philip A. Brimmer to serve 41 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release for wire fraud and filing a false tax return. Pitts, who pleaded guilty on July 28, 2017 was ordered to pay restitution of $768,439 to victim Associates in Gastroenterology (AG) and $382,014.58 to the Internal Revenue Service.

According to information from a plea agreement, Associates in Gastroenterology (AG) hired Pitts as their office manager in February of 2011. Beginning in about February of 2011 and continuing through May 30, 2015, Pitts fraudulently diverted funds in the amount of at least $768,439 from AG to herself. Pitts used different methods to divert the funds including making personal charges on credit cards belonging to AG, then used AG’s bank accounts to pay the credit card charges. She also used her access to open a new AG credit card that she used for personal purchases.

Pitts willfully and knowingly filed a false federal income tax for the 2014 tax year. Pitts signed the return, under penalties of perjury, knowing that the return was false because it did not include the income she received during the 2014 tax year as a result of the scheme to defraud AG.

“Our prosecutor and our IRS and FBI partners did an exceptional job ensuring that this thief’s victims – including American taxpayers – got justice in this case,” said U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer.

This case was investigated by the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy Sibert.

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ORIGINAL STORY 12/12/16:

For four years, a Pueblo woman allegedly spent nearly $800,000 of a company's money on herself.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) says 46-year-old Kimberly Pitts was hired as an office manager for Associates of Gastroenterology (AG) in February 2011. For the next four years, she was entrusted with the company's bank accounts, credit cards and maintaining the company's accounting ledger.

And for the next four years, the DOJ says she wrote checks from the company's bank accounts, used the credit cards for personal purchases and disguised her fraudulent purchases on the company's accounting ledger.

The DOJ says in one instance, Pitts listed in the accounting ledger that AG paid $10,000 to Colorado Springs Utilities. That $10,000 was actually wired to her own bank account.

Pitts was arrested last week and faces eight counts of wire fraud and one count of false tax statement. If convicted, she could face years in prison and hefty fines well into six figures.

Editor's note: We originally attributed the information to the FBI. It is actually the DOJ. We have updated the story with our correction.