OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF WEST VIRGINIA
Betsy C. Jividen
Acting UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
1125 Chapline Street, Federal Building, Suite 3000 ● Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 234-0100 ● Contact: Fawn E. Thomas, Public Affairs Specialist
April 2, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Martinsburg Attorney Entered Guilty Pleas
to Mail Fraud and Wire Fraud
MARTINSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA — A 32 year old Martinsburg resident entered guilty pleas on April 1, 2010, in United States District Court in Martinsburg before Magistrate Judge David J. Joel.
Acting United States Attorney Betsy C. Jividen announced that HEIDI J. SILVER MYERS entered guilty pleas to mail fraud and wire fraud. From July 2004 to November 2006, Martinsburg Attorney MYERS devised and executed a scheme to defraud and obtain money from the State of West Virginia and Daniels Capital Corporation.
During this time period, MYERS and her law office submitted court appointed vouchers (bills) for criminal case work that contained inflated hours to the West Virginia Public Defender Services, the state agency which is responsible for paying attorneys who represent clients who cannot pay for counsel themselves. The bills from MYERS falsely reported that MYERS had spent more time than she actually did on the various cases and reported all time as “attorney time,” even though much of the work was actually performed by paralegal or clerical staff. In this fashion, MYERS and her law office obtained monies from the State of West Virginia in the amount of $274,580.38. When the funds budgeted for the panel attorneys who worked for the West Virginia Public Defender Services were depleted for the fiscal year, MYERS and her law office contracted with a finance company (Daniels Capital Corporation) to buy her accounts receivable and obtained $192,617.25, an amount representing 75% of her unpaid bills.
MYERS, who is currently free on bond pending sentencing, faces a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Paul T. Camilletti and Thomas O. Mucklow. The case was investigated by the West Virginia Commission on Special Investigations and the United States Postal Inspection Service.
Call 1-855-WVA-FEDS or Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have information about public corruption in your community.