Woman suspected of impersonating nurse practitioner student pleads guilty to bank fraud

2013-07-17T17:45:00Z 2014-05-15T11:56:04Z Woman suspected of impersonating nurse practitioner student pleads guilty to bank fraudBy GREG TUTTLE gtuttle@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

A Billings woman suspected of impersonating a nurse practitioner student at a local hospital admitted Wednesday to forging her husband's signature to obtain a bank loan in an unrelated federal case.

Angela Corson Smith, 32, appeared in U.S. District Court and pleaded guilty to felony bank fraud after striking a plea agreement that calls for the dismissal of seven other charges.

Smith told U.S. District Court Judge Sam Haddon that she forged her husband's signature on documents to obtain a home equity loan of $27,300 from Altana Federal Credit Union on Oct. 23, 2009.

The plea agreement states the remaining charges of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft will be dismissed when Corson Smith is sentenced on Oct. 28.

Although the charges will be dismissed, the agreement states Corson Smith will be responsible for paying restitution for all of the offenses. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Fehr told the judge Wednesday she believed the total restitution amount will be "close to $120,000," although the exact amount has yet to be determined.

Haddon allowed Corson Smith to remain free on pre-trial supervision while she awaits sentencing. It was unclear from the plea agreement what, if any, federal prison time Corson Smith could be ordered to serve. 

The felony bank fraud charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

Corson Smith was arrested and arraigned on the eight-count federal indictment on June 25. She was released from custody two days later and ordered, among other things, to stay off the property of Billings Clinic and St. Vincent Healthcare unless there is a medical emergency.

Federal prosecutors alleged in the indictment that Corson Smith made a series of false statements in a scheme between 2009 and 2013 in which she lied about her health, family and work to get tens of thousands of dollars from the credit union and individuals.

Corson Smith was identified in late April as the suspect in the case of a woman who had been impersonating a nurse practitioner student at Billings Clinic. 

The Billings Police Department launched an investigation, but no charges have been filed. 

The Yellowstone County Attorney's Office has yet to announce whether they believe any charges can be filed in the case.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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