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Press Release

Beckley Woman Pleads Guilty to Federal Theft Crime

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

BECKLEY, W.Va. – Jennifer Douglas, 48, of Beckley, pleaded guilty today to theft from federal programs.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in 2018, Douglas was the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Citizens Conservation Corp (CCC), a non-profit organization, when it obtained $111,221.09 from the United States Department of Interior National Park Service (NPS). As part of a cooperative agreement with NPS, CCC was supposed to use the funds it obtained to recruit, hire, place, and pay two interns who would perform work at the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation for 13 months.

Douglas admitted that CCC did not hire or place an intern under the task agreement for which it received the federal funds, most of which was to be used for intern wages. Douglas instead directed an accountant to draw down $108,752.60 of the obligated federal funds and intentionally misapplied those funds, by fraudulently converting them to CCC’s use. Douglas admitted that she directed that the federal funds be used for unallowable operating expenses for CCC. Douglas further admitted that she did so with the approval of and at the direction of CCC Chief Executive Officer Robert Martin.

Douglas ran CCC’s day-to-day operations as COO and was responsible for managing its various departments. All department heads reported to Douglas, and she reported only to Martin. CCC’s primary source of income from in or around 1998 until in or around the summer of 2018 had been a multimillion-dollar contract with the State of West Virginia to operate the Courtesy Patrol roadside assistance service. CCC lost the Courtesy Patrol contract in the summer of 2018.

Douglas admitted that she was aware that CCC was extremely financially unstable after CCC lost the Courtesy Patrol contract. Douglas further admitted that her position as COO gave her, in conjunction with and at the direction of Martin, the ability to fraudulently convert and intentionally misapply the federal funds for CCC’s use. Douglas also admitted that, at Martin’s direction, she drew down approximately $59,978.13 from other incomplete task agreements under the cooperative agreement with NPS and intentionally misapplied and/or fraudulently converted those funds as well.

Douglas is scheduled to be sentenced on August 30, 2024, and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. Douglas also owes $168,729.13 in restitution.

Martin, 67, of Beckley, pleaded guilty on January 12, 2024, to fraudulent receipt of property from a debtor. Martin admitted to paying himself without authorization while CEO of CCC after it filed for bankruptcy on April 3, 2019. Martin further admitted that CCC knowingly misspent the $108,752.60 had received from NPS under the cooperative agreement. Martin awaits sentencing.

United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Department of Interior-Office of Inspector General (DOI-OIG).

United States Magistrate Judge Omar J. Aboulhosn presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorneys Holly Wilson and Andrew D. Isabell are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:23-cr-141. 



Updated May 6, 2024