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Press Release

Wetzel County woman admits to mail fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of West Virginia

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA – Rhonda Kay Spencer, of Pine Grove, West Virginia, has admitted to mail fraud, United States Attorney William Ihlenfeld announced.

Spencer, 52, pleaded guilty today to one count of “Mail Fraud.” At the time of the offense, Spencer was employed as the Recorder for the Town of Pine Grove, West Virginia.  Spencer submitted an application to WorkForce West Virginia, requesting CARES Act unemployment distributed by the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program in April 2020. Spencer then submitted weekly certifications to WorkForce, falsely stating that she was unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Spencer obtained approximately $14,308 during this scheme.  

Spencer faces up 20 years of incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Danae DeMasi-Lemon is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government. The West Virginia State Auditor’s Office Public Integrity Fraud Unit and WorkForce West Virginia Office of Inspector General investigated.

U.S. Magistrate Judge James P. Mazzone presided.

Updated March 15, 2022