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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Virginia

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Tennessee Woman Pleads Guilty To Credit Card Fraud

Mary Jane Sanderford Admits To Stealing More Than $30,000

ABINGDON, VIRGINIA – A Tennessee woman who spent more than $30,000 of an elderly woman’s money to which she was not entitled to pled guilty this morning in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Abingdon.

Mary Jane Sanderford, 62, of Gray, Tenn., pled guilty this morning to one count of credit card fraud. At sentencing, she faces a maximum statutory penalty of up to ten years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000. Sanderford also agreed to pay restitution for the entire scope of her criminal conduct in an amount of not less than $29,000.

“Ms. Sanderford stole money from her elderly aunt and used it to buy herself sunglasses and tires for her truck," United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. “She elevated her own greed over the interests of her family member and took money that did not belong to her. We will continue to work hard to hold accountable anyone who abuses the Social Security safety net."

Today in District Court, Sanderford admitted that after obtaining guardianship of her 83-year-old aunt in January 2011, she moved $169,054 from her aunt’s account at Branch Banking and Trust to three accounts at the Wythe Branch of Grayson National Bank. The defendant took these actions without her aunt’s consent.

On numerous occasions, and without the authorization of her aunt, Sanderford made personal purchases using a debit card attached to one of the Grayson National Bank accounts. The purchases, which investigators determined to not benefit the victim, included eye glasses for the defendant, sunglasses for the defendant, new tires and a Ford F150 pick-up truck.

In all, the defendant spent approximately $30,000 of her aunt’s money to which she was not entitled to spend.

Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Bockhorst is prosecuting the case for the United States.

Updated April 14, 2015