News and Press Releases


May 17, 2010

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Tina Holsopple, 44, of Culloden, West Virginia, pleaded guilty before United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr. to identity theft. Holsopple, who is scheduled to be sentenced on September 1, 2010, faces up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The conviction stems from an investigation conducted by the West Virginia State Police. From 2004 to 2008, while employed at an accounting firm in Cross Lanes, West Virginia, Holsopple took $154,000 from Poca Valu Rite pharmacy, a client of the accounting firm. Holsopple used check creation software to make counterfeit checks payable to herself. Holsopple then stamped the owner of the pharmacy's name on the checks, deposited the checks in her own account, and withdrew the money for her personal use. As part of her plea agreement, Holsopple agreed to pay restitution to the victim of her offense. Assistant United States Attorney Erik Goes is handling the prosecution.

This case is being prosecuted as a part of the United States Attorney's identity theft initiative.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – An Ohio man was sentenced today for his role in an interstate theft ring involving numerous motorcycles. Edward Jay Messer, 46, of Cincinnati, Ohio, was sentenced to two months in a community corrections facility, followed by five months on home confinement and three years of supervised release. Messer previously pleaded guilty in November 2009, admitting he possessed a stolen motor vehicle that had crossed interstate lines. According to court documents, a Harley Davidson Heritage motorcycle was stolen from a hotel parking lot in Ohio in July 2004. The stolen motorcycle was disassembled, then reassembled with another frame, transmission and motor case. At his plea hearing, Messer admitted he knew the motorcycle was stolen when it was presented to the Huntington Police Department for inspection. After the reassembled motorcycle was titled, it was transported to a Kentucky motorcycle shop where it was later sold. As part of his plea agreement, Messer stipulated he had titled seven stolen and reassembled motorcycles between 2001 and 2004.

United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers, who presided over the proceedings, ordered Messer pay $69,453 in restitution to his victims. The Judge also ordered that the motorcycles seized in connection with Messer's criminal conduct be returned to the victims. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cabell County Sheriff's Office and Kentucky State Police conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Erik S. Goes handled the prosecution.

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