Marysville nurse suspended after defrauding 10 employees of over $106K

Jeanne Rather was sentenced to 2½ years in federal prison for stealing her employees’ personal information and using credit cards in their names.

Marysville

EVERETT — A former dialysis clinic manager from Marysville thought of the money she stole from her employees as a temporary loan: She’d be able to quickly pay them back before anyone noticed.

In a letter to a federal court judge, Jeanne Rather, 51, admitted to using at least 10 employees’ personal information to open new credit card accounts — spending over $106,000 in their names on plane tickets, hotel rooms and purchases for her personal business. She also stole over 20 checks, totaling about $98,500, from insurance companies intended for her employer. In total, Rather stole over $204,000.

“I felt the walls closing in around me when I could no longer afford either our house or car payment,” Rather wrote.

The state Department of Health suspended the license of the former nurse Friday for defrauding her employees at the dialysis clinics she managed in Skagit County. In December, the Board of Nursing suspended her license for at least five years. Rather had not responded to a statement of charges regarding her convictions of fraud and identity theft, according to the Department of Health.

In September 2019, Rather managed two clinics. She stole the identities of employees who worked under her and opened unauthorized credit card accounts at Capital One, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase & Co, according to court documents filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle.

In November 2019, Rather used Capital One credit cards opened in employees’ names to spend over $5,100 at Alaska Airlines. Rather also owned and operated the Pixie Fashion Outlet, an online clothing store. Credit card statements showed she bought from this store using her employees’ credit cards, essentially paying herself, according to court records.

Rather did not repay the credit card bills, the indictment said.

In January 2020, Rather faxed photocopies of her employees’ social security information to her house, using the information to open more credit card accounts, court papers said.

A federal grand jury indicted Rather in May 2021. Rather faced seven counts of bank fraud and three counts of aggravated identity theft.

After Rather’s arraignment, U.S. Magistrate Judge Brian Tsuchida placed her on pretrial supervision in Texas. She stopped communicating with the court, court documents said. In January 2023, police arrested Rather and extradited her to Washington.

In May, U.S. District Court Judge John Coughenour sentenced Rather to 2½ years in prison. Rather pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Rather had worked as a manager at the clinics for about 12 years, prosecutors wrote.

“As a registered nurse and manager, she likely had a higher salary than the subordinates she stole from,” assistant U.S. attorney Yunah Chung wrote in court papers. “Her victims likely suffered financial losses in the form of damaged credit status and and emotional distress causes by an increased sense of vulnerability.”

In a letter before sentencing, Rather apologized.

“I am ashamed I used my position of power to take advantage of these innocent people, I want to pay back every dollar I stole,” Rather wrote.

Rather had no previous criminal record.

Rather’s three children wrote letters in support of her.

“We’re always going to have this empty spot inside of us. Like that feeling that something is missing and we’ll never get to fill that hole,” her daughter wrote. “We’ve watched our dad pack a bag and leave and my mother was the one to stay and take care of us until he decided to come back. It has been really hard to accept that this has happened.”

As of this week, Rather was incarcerated at the minimum-security federal prison camp in Bryan, Texas.

Rather wrote that when she is released, she wants to “develop closer ties to the community,” volunteering at a local bank.

“My plans for the future include continuing my education in business management,” she wrote, “either while in prison or when I get out.”

Jonathan Tall: 425-339-3486; jonathan.tall@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @snocojon.

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