OIG: Office of Inspector General
   Current Section

Investigative Report

Southern District of West Virginia

May 23, 2006
United States Attorney
Charles T. Miller

Media Contact
Tracy D. Chapman
US Attorney's Office
300 Virginia Street, East
Charleston, WV 25301

Beckley Woman Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement and Filing a False Tax Return

Deborah Mitchell, age 58, of Harper Road, Beckley, West Virginia, pled guilty before United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston to a two-count information charging her with embezzling $1.3 million from RESA I from 1999 to 2006 and to filing a false income tax return during tax year 2005.

Mitchell, the former Executive Secretary and Financial Manager, admitted to embezzling the money from RESA 1 by having checks issued to individuals and companies who were not legitimate RESA vendors. Mitchell admitted to receiving the checks issued to the individuals and depositing the checks into her own bank account and her daughter's. Mitchell further admitted to sending large amounts of RESA I money to her credit card company and to her daughter’s companies in Columbia, Kentucky.

The case was investigated by the Beckley Police Department, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Service, the United States Department of Education-Office of Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

At her sentencing scheduled for September 5, 2006, Mitchell faces 13 years imprisonment, a fine of $500,000 and an order of restitution in the amount of $1,313,091.22.

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Last Modified: 09/11/2006