GREAT FALLS, MT – The finance manager for William Tempel Construction today was arraigned on wire fraud charges alleging she stole more than $565,000 through a scheme of false and inflated subcontractor invoices billed to a client, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.
Lynn Bapp Tempel, 59, pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of wire fraud as charged in an indictment. If convicted of the most serious crime, Tempel faces a maximum 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.
U.S. Magistrate Judge John T. Johnston presided. Tempel was released pending further proceedings.
The charging documents are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The indictment alleges that Tempel managed the finances for William Tempel Construction, which entered into a contract to build a $4.41 million residence in Great Falls for a client. Beginning in May 2013, the indictment continues, Tempel inflated invoices from subcontractors on the project and provided those inflated invoices to the client for payment.
The indictment further alleges that Tempel falsified, altered and inflated approximately 153 subcontractor invoices. The alleged inflated invoices resulted in William Tempel Construction receiving about $565,456 from the client to which it was not entitled. During this same timeframe, Tempel withdrew about $566,848 from the company’s business account.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Weldon is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the FBI and the Great Falls Police Department.