CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Charleston woman pled guilty today to bank fraud and possession of stolen mail, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Samantha Miller, 36, traveled to various banks in Kanawha County and presented stolen checks that had been altered in an attempt to cash them.
Miller admitted that on January 28, 2018, she successfully cashed an $800 check to obtain money that did not belong to her, and on February 9, 2018, she was caught with a number of stolen checks that had been taken from the United States mail. Miller knew that she possessed stolen mail and was in the process of altering the checks to attempt to cash them. She received several thousand dollars that did not belong to her through manipulating checks that had been stolen from the mail.
“This may not sound like a big deal but turn on the TV anywhere and you’ll understand the critical importance of the mail,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “Miller’s actions tied up the investigative resources of state and federal agencies, undermined faith in the postal system for those who had checks stolen, and was a logistical nightmare for the victims to remedy the fraud.”
Miller faces up to 35 years in prison and a $1.25 million fine when she is sentenced on January 21, 2021. She also will be required to pay restitution to the victim banks.
The investigation was conducted by the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Dunbar Police Department and the West Virginia State Police.
United States District Judge Irene C. Berger presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorney Erik S. Goes is handling the prosecution.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:19-cr-00114.