Contact: Allie Dumski
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April 8, 2022
Former Nelsonville assistant auditor guilty of additional charges, ordered to repay more than $40,000 more
Columbus – Former Nelsonville City Assistant Auditor, already in jail for a felony charge after she was caught stealing the city’s payroll, was ordered to repay an additional $40,000, more than she admitted pocketing in a separate scheme.
Stephanie Wilson pleaded guilty in Athens County Common Pleas Court on Tuesday to charges of engaging in a pattern of corruption and theft from office. As part of a plea deal, she was sentenced to 4 years, to be served alongside the 4-year, 11-month sentence she began in May 2021, with full restitution ordered in both cases. approaching $300,000.
“Stephanie Wilson has already been arrested and convicted for theft from public coffers,” State Auditor Keith Faber said. “When our investigators discovered she had committed additional fraud, we pursued further charges and ordered that she repay every last penny she took from the people of Nelsonville.”
Wilson was originally charged in February 2020, after investigators confirmed she stole city funds through payroll systems that included creating fictitious employees and direct deposits into her own accounts.
The State Auditor’s Special Investigations Unit confirmed that Wilson took more than $200,000 between January 2012 and February 2020. Wilson pleaded guilty in December 2020 to falsifying records, tampering, telecommunications fraud, and theft from office. She was eventually sentenced to 59 months in prison and ordered to repay $241,839.31.
In March 2021, prior to sentencing in the original case, Wilson was charged with additional charges after the Special Investigations Unit confirmed that 13 separate income tax refund checks had been issued to companies or fictitious individuals and deposited in accounts controlled by Wilson. She pleaded guilty in that case and was sentenced on Tuesday.
“I am grateful for the work of all investigators,” said Athens County Attorney Keller J. Blackburn, noting the work of the state auditor’s Special Investigations Unit to uncover the fraud. income tax refund. “Miss Wilson faces a significant prison sentence and will have to make significant restitution in order to be released early.”
Since 2019, the Special Investigations Unit has assisted in 79 convictions, resulting in nearly $2.7 million in restitution (Map of SIU Convictions Since January 2019: https://ohioauditor.gov/fraud/convictions_map. html). The team receives hundreds of reports of suspected fraud each year. Tips can be submitted anonymously online or through the SIU Fraud Hotline at 1-866-FRAUD-OH (1-866-372-8364).
The Office of the State Auditor, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 6,000 state and local government agencies . Under auditor Keith Faber, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public bodies, and promotes transparency in government.