FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 16, 2012
HUNTINGTON WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY IN CONNECTION TO ILLEGAL FOOD STAMP FRAUD SCHEME
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Stephanie Pauley, 35, of Huntington, pleaded guilty today in federal court before United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers to conspiracy to commit food stamp fraud. Pauley admitted that she participated with other known individuals in a scheme to defraud the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program. These benefits are given to eligible individuals in the form of a debit card called the Mountain State Card.
Pauley was an employee of the Huntington-area convenience store, ALLINONE Store ("ALLINONE"), formerly known as the SONOCO store, located at 1954 9th Avenue, at the time of the illegal fraud scheme. Pauley admitted that some time after March 2009 and continuing until February 2012, she conspired with other known individuals in an illegal card-swiping scheme that took place at ALLINONE.
She fraudulently swiped certain recipients' Mountain State Cards by charging a certain dollar amount against the value of the recipient's card.
Pauley admitted that the card recipients were given 50 to 65 cents on the dollar in cash. Ms. Pauley also admitted to illegally selling cigarettes and alcohol by charging the purchase on the Mountain State Card as though it was an eligible food item. The ALLINONE bank account then received the full amount of the fraudulent transactions from the government. Pauley admitted that as a result of the scheme, she redeemed a portion of approximately $127,000 in SNAP benefits.
Pauley faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine when she is sentenced on July 30, 2012.
The Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General, the Huntington Police Department, the West Virginia State Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Homeland Security conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Erik S. Goes is in charge of the prosecution.
# # #