COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Former deputy auditor of the City of Nelsonville has been ordered to repay an additional $40,000-plus after a plea agreement, according to the Ohio Auditor of State.
Stephanie Wilson, who is already in prison after she was caught stealing from the city’s payroll, pleaded guilty on Tuesday in Athens County Common Pleas Court to felony counts of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and theft in office, Ohio Auditor Keith Faber said in a media release.
In March 2021, before sentencing in the initial case, Wilson was indicted on additional counts after the Special Investigations Unit confirmed13 separate income tax refund checks had been issued to fictitious companies or individuals and deposited into accounts controlled by Wilson. She pleaded guilty in that case and was sentenced on Tuesday, the media release said.
As part of a plea agreement, Wilson was sentenced to four years, to be served concurrently with the nearly five year sentence she began in May 2021. Total restitution for both cases approaches $300,000.
“Stephanie Wilson was already caught and convicted for stealing from the public coffers,” Faber said in the media release. “When our investigators found she had committed additional fraud, we pursued more charges and orders that she repay every last penny she took from the people of Nelsonville.”
Wilson was initially indicted in February 2020, after investigators confirmed she had stolen city funds via payroll schemes that included the creation of fictitious employees and direct deposits into her own accounts, the release said.
The Auditor of State’s Special Investigations Unit confirmed Wilson had taken more than $200,000 between January 2012 and February 2020. Wilson pleaded guilty in December 2020 to counts of tampering with records, forgery, telecommunications fraud, and theft in office. She was ultimately sentenced to 59 months in prison and ordered to repay $241,839.31, the release said.
Since 2019, the Auditor of State’s Special Investigations Unit has assisted in 79 convictions resulting in nearly $2.7 million in restitution. Tips can be submitted anonymously online or via SIU’s fraud hotline at 1-866-372-836, the release concluded.