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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of West Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 22, 2018

Former Logan County Schools Superintendent indicted for fraud scheme

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – United States Attorney Mike Stuart announced that former Logan County Schools Superintendent Phyllis Doty, 68, of Logan, was indicted by a federal grand jury today for charges relating to a scheme to defraud the Logan County Board of Education of money and property. U.S. Attorney Stuart was joined in the announcement by officials from the FBI and the West Virginia Legislature Commission on Special Investigations.

“The numbers as alleged in the indictment are not massive in scale, but corruption in any amount, the theft of precious taxpayer dollars, violations of the public trust by public officials is a true cancer to society,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “There is no such thing as a little bit of public corruption. We will not tolerate it. Standing in defiance of public corruption is a fundamental priority for this United States Attorney and the United States of America,” continued Stuart.

U.S. Attorney Stuart commended the investigative work of the FBI and the West Virginia Legislature Commission on Special Investigations and Assistant United States Attorney Gabriele Wohl for handling the prosecution.

The indictment alleges that Doty, who retired from Logan County Schools in 2016, stole over $12,000 in electronic devices purchased by the Logan County Board of Education and used public funds to decorate and supply her son's August 2015 wedding. The scheme began in 2011 when the Logan County Board of Education regularly purchased Apple iPods and iPads for Logan County Schools staff. Between 2011 and 2015, Doty is alleged to have stolen at least 20 of these devices, and either sold them on eBay for profit, or gave them to family members as gifts. Doty directed the purchase of the devices or purchased them herself, and then sold them online or gave them away to her family.

According to the indictment, the scheme included ordering over $6,500 in wedding supplies with Logan County Board of Education money. These items included bread baskets, easels, drink dispensers, columns, and decorative urns. Doty claimed that these items were requested by Logan County teachers, however, the teachers knew nothing of these orders and the items mostly remained in boxes until they were used for the wedding. It is further alleged that Doty gave some of these items away to the wedding planner following the wedding.

The indictment also accuses Doty of covering up her scheme once an investigation into suspicious spending became public. It is alleged that the cover-up occurred by Doty attempting to influence a Logan County Board of Education staff member of the falsehood that she had permission to take iPods purchased by the Logan County Board of Education, and then by Doty asking the wedding planner to return the gifted items to a Logan County school.

The indictment charges Doty with two counts of wire fraud, which carries a penalty of up to 20 years in federal prison for each count; two counts of theft from a program receiving federal funds, which carries a penalty of up to 10 years in federal prison for each count; and one count of mail fraud, which carries a penalty of up to 20 years in federal prison.

Attached, please find the indictment.

Please note:  An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. 

Topic(s): 
Public Corruption
Updated February 22, 2018