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Press Release

Ona Man Pleads Guilty in Connection with Fraud Scheme

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

Wrote Nearly $500,000 in Checks on Church Account for Personal Benefit

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – An Ona man pled guilty today to a federal fraud crime, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Robert Dale Adkins, age 75, pled guilty to a mail fraud scheme.

“Adkins defrauded his church of almost half of a million dollars,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “You’re supposed to fill - not empty - the offering plate. Stealing from a place of worship for personal benefit - BAD IDEA.”

From at least 2012 until approximately December of 2018, Adkins was the treasurer for a church near Ona, Cabell County, West Virginia.  As treasurer, Adkins had access to the church’s checking account and was authorized to sign checks from that account on behalf of the church. 

Between 2012 and December of 2018, Adkins wrote and signed checks on the church’s account for his own benefit. Those checks went to pay personal creditors. Adkins wrote the checks without the church membership’s knowledge or approval, and without the knowledge or approval of any church board member.  Adkins would then mail the checks to pay his personal creditors. Adkins wrote approximately $487,488.92 in unauthorized checks on the church’s account for his personal use.  

Adkins faces up to 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced on May 18, 2020.  He also will be required to pay restitution in the amount of  $487,488.92 to the church, and is subject to forfeiture of an equal amount to the United States.  

United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers presided over the hearing.  Assistant United States Attorney Greg McVey is handling the prosecution.

 

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Updated February 18, 2020