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The Journal Gazette

Friday, August 11, 2017 12:00 pm

Ex-employee pleads guilty to mail fraud, identity theft

RON SHAWGO | The Journal Gazette

A woman facing a 15-count federal indictment accusing her of financial crimes involving her former employer has pleaded guilty to two counts.

In exchange for Marianne Matchette's plea to mail fraud and aggravated identity theft, prosecutors agreed to drop the other charges. U.S. District Judge Theresa L. Springmann approved the plea agreement last week.

The original indictment accused Matchette of access device fraud, allegedly using 13 credit cards, from American Express cards to Kohl's store cards, belonging to someone else from March 2014 until October 2015. She also was charged with wire fraud.

According to court documents, Matchette worked for Maxim Medical Services and, as part of her job, used various company credit cards to make purchases for the company's benefit.

She also had access to the business's CEO's personal cards, according to court documents. Matchette was accused of making a variety of purchases from various companies.

Her guilty plea refers to a May 12, 2015, incident in which she used a credit card without authorization to buy something from Bed Bath and Beyond and have it delivered to Columbus, Ohio.

Matchette faces up to 20 years in prison for fraud and a mandatory two years for aggravated identity theft to run consecutively to whatever she receives for the fraud count. Each charge carries a fine of up to $250,000. She also agreed to pay restitution.

Maxim Medical CEO Philip Cowart said he hopes Matchette gets more than the minimum prison time when sentenced. Online court documents do not give a sentencing date, but Cowart said he learned it is in December.

"I am pleased it's going to finally be over," Cowart said by phone.

Matchette's lawyer, Patrick Arata, declined to comment Friday.

Days after she was indicted, Matchette filed a lawsuit against Maxim Medical and Cowart alleging Cowart sexually harassed her, treated her differently from other employees when she told them her husband had cancer and conspired to get rid of her to avoid paying for his health insurance.

That case continues.