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SU employee charged with fraud

Director of Greek affairs faces 54 counts for alleged unauthorized purchases

April 26, 2013
Edward Marshall - Ogden Newspapers , Shepherdstown Chronicle

Shepherd University's director of Greek affairs has been directly indicted by a Jefferson County grand jury on 54 fraud-related counts for allegedly using a state-issued purchase card to make more than $80,000 in unauthorized transactions during an alleged spending spree that dates back as far as 2010.

The indictment charges Elizabeth A. "Libby" Shanton, 48, with one count of felony fraudulent schemes and 53 felony counts of fraudulent or unauthorized use of a purchasing card.

A person can be directly indicted by a grand jury even if they have never been charged or arrested before in connection with the alleged crime for which they are indicted.

According to a copy of the indictment, one count accuses Shanton of using the card between July 1 and Aug. 3, 2011, to make purchases that were not for official state purposes, but which she claimed were official in her "purchase card transaction log" sheets. Shanton allegedly made $85,932 in unauthorized purchases, according to the first count of the indictment.

The remaining counts of the indictment charge her with fraudulent or unauthorized use of a purchasing card detail alleged unauthorized purchases made between 2010 and 2012 that were not for official state purposes and for which she never presented itemized receipts.

The alleged unauthorized purchases were made from business in more than a half-dozen states, including West Virginia, Delaware, Georgia, California, Kentucky, North Carolina and New York. Items allegedly purchased included beauty supplies, knock-off cigars and perfumes, silk pillow cases, jewelry, purses, NFL apparel and replica jerseys, limousine service, and expensive stays at a hotel in New York City.

Among the most expensive purchases was a $1,439 first-class airline ticket that was bought May 21, 2012, from United Airlines. On July 30, 2012, Shanton allegedly purchased $752 worth of makeup, perfume, fragrance and beauty supplies at Sephora in New York using her state-issued purchase card. The most expensive charges made to the card came after Shanton allegedly racked up a $2,304 bill during a four-night stay at the Marriott Marquis hotel in New York City in 2012, according to the indictment.

In another alleged spending spree, Shanton is accused of buying $752 worth of Halloween costumes from a store in Hagerstown, Md. with her state-issued card. Four of the costumes were for characters from the Wizard of Oz. Shanton

The case was investigated by Steve Staton, of the Commission on Special Investigations, and Tim Butler, of the State Auditor's Office.

 
 

 

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