West Virginia Record

Friday, October 18, 2019

Former Beckley law office manager gets two years for identity theft

By Lawrence Smith | Jun 3, 2010

BECKLEY - Along with prison time, the former manager of a Raleigh County law office was ordered to pay over $12,000 in restitution for fraudulent credit card bills she incurred without her employer's knowledge or permission.

U.S. District Judge Irene C. Berger on May 6 sentenced Stephanie R. Williams to two years in prison for aggravated identity theft. Berger also ordered Williams to pay $12,832.82 in restitution to the two members of the Beckley law firm in whose names she opened credit card accounts.

According to court records, Williams, 39, of Bradley, was indicted on Aug. 11 on two counts of aggravated identity theft, and one count of wire fraud. Following a plea agreement she entered in December, the U.S. Attorney's office agreed to dismiss the wire fraud, and one of the identity theft charges.

The indictment alleged that Williams, while working for the law firm in March 2008, obtained personal identifying information, including Social Security numbers, of the firm's two members, and opened credit cards in their names via the Internet. Throughout the month, Williams made $12,000 in unauthorized purchases using both cards.

The name of the law firm where Williams worked, or the names of the members, are not identified in court records. A press release issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office following Berger's sentencing said Williams began her employment there in Aug. 2007.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, Williams has not yet been incarcerated. Prior to sentencing, U.S. Public Defender Mary Lou Newberger, Williams' court-appointed counsel, asked that Williams be placed at the federal prison camp for women in Alderson so as to be close to her two children.

Upon completion of her sentence, Williams will still be under supervised release for a year.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, case number 09-cr-182

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