PORTLAND — A La Grande woman was sentenced to federal prison on Tuesday, Jan. 5, for defrauding two separate employers and filing false tax returns, according to a press release from U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams.

Anndrea D. Jacobs, 49, a former office manager and bookkeeper for a La Grande medical practice, was sentenced to four years in federal prison and five years of supervised release after previously pleading guilty to filing a false personal income tax return, falsely impersonating an IRS employee, aggravated identity theft and bank fraud.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Bounds, formerly of Hermiston, wrote the government’s sentencing recommendation for Jacobs.

“Defendant Anndrea D. Jacobs is a persistent swindler,” according to Bounds’ six-page memo. “Over the course of a decade — and perhaps longer — she stole business receipts, loan proceeds, and tax payments from the medical and dental practices at which she worked, diverting more than $1.1 million dollars from them to sustain a lavish personal lifestyle and her own failing businesses.”

According to court documents, beginning on or about January 2011 and continuing until her termination in December 2015, Jacobs used her position and access to a medical practice’s finances to steal money from the practice by, among other means, writing business checks to herself or for her own benefit. Jacobs used the stolen funds to make payments on personal credit cards and pay other personal expenses unrelated to the medical practice.

In an attempt to hide her actions, Jacobs prepared and maintained false business financial records, overstating expenses and estimated tax payments. She also opened a business bank account without the knowledge or consent of the medical practice owner, deposited a business check payable to the Oregon Department of Revenue into her own personal account, gave the practice owner falsified property tax statements with total due balances of zero, and convinced the practice owner to grant her limited power of attorney to handle the practice’s pending IRS tax-collection action.

Jacobs also created a fictitious identity as an IRS Taxpayer Advocate named “Linda Gibson,” established a phone number and voicemail account for the fake identity, and purported to assist the medical practice owner with his IRS tax collection issues while purporting to be “Linda Gibson.”

A federal grand jury in Portland returned a 15-count indictment in 2018 charging Jacobs with wire fraud, filing false tax returns, aiding or assisting the preparation of false tax returns, falsely impersonating an employee of the U.S. and aggravated identity theft. Jacobs’ pretrial release was revoked in June 2020 for committing bank fraud while embezzling from a second employer — a dental practice in Hood River — and Jacobs was indicted a second time for the new scheme.

During sentencing, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Marco A. Hernandez ordered Jacobs to pay more than $1.2 million in restitution to two former employers, Wells Fargo Bank and the IRS.

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