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Press Release

Kanawha County Woman Pleads Guilty to Federal Fraud Crimes

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

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Karen L. Hodges, also known as “Karen Igo,” “Karen Clay,” “Karen Richmond,” and “Karen Gessel,” 49, of St. Albans, pleaded guilty today to three counts of securities fraud.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Hodges admitted to having counterfeit checks created so they appeared to be payroll checks issued by Kroger. Between October 20, 2018, and December 19, 2018, Hodges presented and cashed three counterfeit payroll checks totaling $2,461.96 at Kroger locations within the Southern District of West Virginia. Hodges admitted that she has never worked for Kroger, and knew that she was deceiving them into giving her cash based on these counterfeit payroll checks.

Hodges further admitted to presenting and uttering numerous other counterfeit checks totaling $37,587.66 during the same time period at Kroger locations within the Southern District of West Virginia, as well as the Northern District of West Virginia, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Virginia. Hodges also admitted to cashing two legitimate checks in her father’s name totaling $983.12 at Kroger locations within the Southern District of West Virginia.

Hodges is scheduled to be sentenced on May 3, 2023, and faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $750,000 fine. Hodges also owes $38,570.78 in restitution.

United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the United States Secret Service.

Senior United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr. presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorneys Kristin F. Scott and Ryan A. Keefe 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. 2:22-cr-223.





Updated April 19, 2023

Securities, Commodities, & Investment Fraud