Indiana Woman Pleads Guilty to Federal Fraud Crimes
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Stefanie Marie Wells, 37, of Jasonville, Indiana, pleaded guilty today to bank fraud and aggravated identify theft, after obtaining or attempting to obtain $17,550 using stolen checkbooks and driver’s licenses at West Virginia banks.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Wells wrote a $2,700 check from a stolen checkbook and cashed it at a bank in Mount Hope by presenting a stolen driver’s license on October 19, 2020. Wells admitted to obtaining the stolen license and checkbook some time prior to October 19, 2020.
Wells further admitted to cashing three additional checks totaling $7,400 from the stolen checkbook on October 19, 2020. Wells used the same stolen driver’s license to cash the stolen checks at banks in Beaver and Beckley, and a different stolen driver’s license to cash the third stolen check at a Montgomery bank. Wells admitted to unsuccessfully attempting to cash a $2,650 check from the stolen checkbook while using one of the stolen driver’s licenses at a Charleston bank on October 20, 2020. Wells also admitted to attempting to cash a $2,300 stolen check at a Beckley bank and attempting to withdraw $2,500 by presenting a stolen driver’s license at a Summersville bank on November 23, 2020. Both attempts were unsuccessful.
Wells is scheduled to be sentenced on November 16, 2022, and faces a maximum penalty of 32 years in prison, five years of supervised release, and a $1,250,000 fine.
United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the United States Park Police, the Beckley Police Department, and the Summersville Police Department.
United States District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorney Nowles Heinrich is 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. 2:21-cr-191.