Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced Monday that during a federal court session in Missoula, on July 31, 2009, before U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy, Andrea Mackowiak, a 33-year-old resident of Columbia Falls, was sentenced to a term of prison for 24 months. She was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $18,715.06, pay a special assessment of $100, and be on supervised release for one year upon completion of her prison term.
Mackowiak was sentenced in connection with her guilty plea to aggravated identity theft. The government stated it would have proved at trial that during 2006, Mackowiak was employed at an orthopedic clinic in Whitefish. Beginning in August of 2006, Mackowiak obtained from clinic records the Social Security account numbers of several clinic patients, as well as their names and dates of birth. She then provided this information to a person in the State of Washington. The person in Washington to whom the information was communicated was a close friend who had asked her to obtain the personal information for the purpose of setting up telephone accounts which could be used by people in prison.
The patient names, dates of birth and Social Security account numbers obtained by Mackowiak from the clinic in Montana were used to open fraudulent accounts with Qwest Communications in the State of Washington.
From August through December 2006, the fraudulent Qwest Communications accounts opened in the State of Washington with the personal information taken from the clinic records in Montana were used to obtain telecommunications services from Qwest without paying for such services.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the “truth in sentencing” guidelines mandate that Mackowiak will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, Mackowiakdoes have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for “good behavior.” However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.
The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Secret Service.
Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Montana