Former Pineville official pleads guilty to embezzlement - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Former Pineville official pleads guilty to embezzlement

Posted:
BECKLEY, W.Va. – A former Pineville, West Virginia official pleaded guilty on March 13 in connection with an embezzlement scheme that took more than $80,000 from the Town of Pineville, announced U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin.
 
Brandee Denise Phillips-Ellis, 30, of Pineville, Wyoming County, W.Va., pleaded guilty to theft concerning programs receiving federal funds.  Phillips-Ellis admitted that between March 2009 and December 27, 2011, she stole a total of more than $80,000 from the Town of Pineville.  Phillips-Ellis was employed as the city manager and recorder for the Town of Pineville at the time of the scheme.
 
U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said, "When people abuse a position of trust and steal from public coffers, they're not just breaking the law---they're ultimately hurting citizens who count on public services."  Goodwin continued, "People who attempt to steal from the public till will be caught and they will be punished."
 
During January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010, the Town of Pineville received benefits in excess of $10,000 under the Safe Routes to Schools Program, a federal aid program administered by the United States Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration.
 
Phillips-Ellis admitted that she used twelve Town of Pineville checks totaling $14,649.83 to pay her husband's personal credit card bills.  The defendant further admitted that she wrote and cashed fraudulent reimbursement checks on Town of Pineville accounts, keeping $3,295.56 for herself.   Additionally, Phillips-Ellis wrote eleven Town of Pineville payroll checks to herself totaling $20,427.50.  Phillips-Ellis further admitted that she cashed a Town of Pineville check for $4,569.58 and used the proceeds in connection with the personal purchase of a car.
 
Phillips-Ellis also admitted that during her employment at SAFE Housing and Economic Development, Inc. (SHED) in McDowell County, West Virginia, she falsified documents in order to receive $36,380 in payments as a vendor that she was not entitled to receive.  Phillips-Ellis was a full-time employee at SHED from about April 2006 through May 2009.  Phillips-Ellis also worked part-time for the organization from May 2009 until December 2011.  SHED is a non-profit organization that provides housing opportunities to low income first-time homebuyers.
In total, Phillips-Ellis admitted that she embezzled $80,489.96 from the Town of Pineville and SHED.
 
Phillips-Ellis faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when she is sentenced on June 25, 2013 by United States District Judge Irene C. Berger.
   
The investigation was conducted by the West Virginia Commission on Special Investigations.  Assistant United States Attorney Eumi Choi is in charge of the prosecution.
  
This case is being prosecuted as part of the U.S. Attorney's Initiative to Combat Theft of Government Benefits launched in June 2008.  The Initiative is designed to protect public funds and to prosecute those who steal benefits from public programs or agencies.
 
 
  • NEWSMore>>

  • Persons of Interest Sought in Triple Shooting

    Persons of Interest Sought in Triple Shooting

    Beckley (WVVA) -- Police now say they have persons of interest after a triple shooting in Beckley...More >>
    Beckley (WVVA) -- Police now say they have persons of interest after a triple shooting in Beckley...More >>
  • Richlands man busted growing $350,000 worth of pot

    Richlands man busted growing $350,000 worth of pot

    Tazewell County deputies spent part of their Labor Day holiday arresting a Richlands man on marijuana charges. Officers found 115 Marijuana plants, over a pound of harvested Marijuana, and three firearms inside the home of Roger Lee Sparks Jr., 38, of Richlands. Deputy Andrew Jarvis made the discovery after obtaining a search warrant for Spark's home. Jarvis and other deputies found a room that had been converted to grow Marijuana plants. A street value of the seized drugs is estimated at $35...More >>
    Tazewell County deputies spent part of their Labor Day holiday arresting a Richlands man on marijuana charges. Officers found 115 Marijuana plants, over a pound of harvested Marijuana, and three firearms inside the home of Roger Lee Sparks Jr., 38, of Richlands. Deputy Andrew Jarvis made the discovery after obtaining a search warrant for Spark's home. Jarvis and other deputies found a room that had been converted to grow Marijuana plants. A street value of the seized drugs is estimated at $35...More >>
  • Greenbrier Co. collision injures one person

    Greenbrier Co. collision injures one person

    CHARMCO (WVVA)- Two cars collided on Route 60 in Charmco on Monday, September 1, 2014. According to Trooper Christopher Teubert with WV State Police, the accident happened a little after 3:00P.M. Teubert says a woman was pulling out of the post office when an SUV came around the corner and t-boned her.She was conscious when first responders arrived on scene. The woman was transported to Greenbrier Valley Medical Center. The driver of the SUV didn't sustain any injuries.More >>
    CHARMCO (WVVA)- Two cars collided on Route 60 in Charmco on Monday, September 1, 2014. According to Trooper Christopher Teubert with WV State Police, the accident happened a little after 3:00P.M. Teubert says a woman was pulling out of the post office when an SUV came around the corner and t-boned her.She was conscious when first responders arrived on scene. The woman was transported to Greenbrier Valley Medical Center. The driver of the SUV didn't sustain any injuries.More >>
  • Mercer County Fire Fee

    Mercer County Fire Fee

    MERCER COUNTY (WVVA)- Volunteer firefighters throughout Mercer County are asking for the public's help during their time of need.Fire chiefs throughout the county say they are in a financial bind. According to Matoaka Fire Chief, Steven Sommers the fire fee, also the department's budget money, hasn't been increased in nearly 23 years. He goes on to say while that number has stayed the same, "our cost of operating increases every day. We don't have the money to meet those costs."In order to he...More >>
    MERCER COUNTY (WVVA)- Volunteer firefighters throughout Mercer County are asking for the public's help during their time of need.Fire chiefs throughout the county say they are in a financial bind. According to Matoaka Fire Chief, Steven Sommers the fire fee, also the department's budget money, hasn't been increased in nearly 23 years. He goes on to say while that number has stayed the same, "our cost of operating increases every day. We don't have the money to meet those costs."In order to he...More >>
  • TV ads to ramp up in West Virginia

    TV ads to ramp up in West Virginia

    For West Virginians already sick of political slam ads, TV will be even tougher to stomach after their Labor Day barbecues...More >>
    For West Virginians already sick of political slam ads, TV will be even tougher to stomach after their Labor Day barbecues...More >>
  • NC offered $100M for Toyota HQ, twice Texas bid

    NC offered $100M for Toyota HQ, twice Texas bid

    North Carolina business recruiters offered Toyota more than $100 million for the world's largest carmaker to move its North American headquarters to Charlotte rather than a Dallas suburb but still lost out to a Texas offer half that size.Texas and local officials in the Dallas suburb of Plano offered Toyota less than $50 million.Both Toyota and North Carolina Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker agree that the company's decision shows incentive money was just one of many considerations the compan...More >>
    North Carolina business recruiters offered Toyota more than $100 million for the world's largest carmaker to move its North American headquarters to Charlotte rather than a Dallas suburb but still lost out to a Texas offer half that size.Texas and local officials in the Dallas suburb of Plano offered Toyota less than $50 million.Both Toyota and North Carolina Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker agree that the company's decision shows incentive money was just one of many considerations the compan...More >>
  • Glen White man charged with First Degree Murder

    Glen White man charged with First Degree Murder

    Joe Collins, 67 of Glen White, WV is facing a felony murder charge after Raleigh County Sheriff's Deputies say he shot and killed a man. According to the criminal complaint it happened early on Sunday morning.The victim is Larry Totten.More >>
    Joe Collins, 67 of Glen White, WV is facing a felony murder charge after Raleigh County Sheriff's Deputies say he shot and killed a man. According to the criminal complaint it happened early on Sunday morning.The victim is Larry Totten.More >>
  • UPDATE: Three missing Fayette County teens located

    UPDATE: Three missing Fayette County teens located

    The search is over for three missing teens in Fayette County.  Fayette County Sheriff's deputies along with state police and multiple other agencies were searching the area for three young people, who were said to of went missing Sunday.More >>
    The search is over for three missing teens in Fayette County.  Fayette County Sheriff's deputies along with state police and multiple other agencies were searching the area for three young people, who were said to of went missing Sunday.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WVVA.
All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Audrey Sluss at (304) 324-0659. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.