Great Falls woman to plead guilty to wire fraud for $565,000

Updated 2 p.m. Oct. 15

On Oct. 15, Lynn Bapp Tempel changed her plea in federal court to guilty.

Last fall, she plead not guilty to 10 counts of wire fraud and prosecutors allege she took more than $565,000 through false and inflated subcontractor invoices billed to a client.

Tempel was the finance manager for William Tempel Construction.

According to court documents, Tempel was expected to plead guilty to one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum of 20 years in prison; a $250,000 fine; up to three years supervised release; and a $100 special assessment.

In the plea agreement, Tempel agrees to complete restitution regardless of whether any counts of wire fraud are dismissed. Federal prosecutors estimate the total restitution is $519,524, according to court documents.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Montana, Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided and set sentencing for Feb. 17, 2022.

Tempel was released pending further proceedings.

In the indictment, federal prosecutors allege that Tempel managed 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, Tempel inflated invoices from subcontractors on the project and provided those inflated invoices to the client for payment, according to the indictment.

Prosecutors allege 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,” according to court documents.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Weldon is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the FBI and the Great Falls Police Department.