Shepherd University fraud trial to move forward
The trial of a former director Shepherd University director of Greek affairs accused of embezzling nearly $86,000 is expected to begin Dec. 1 in Jefferson County Circuit Court.
Elizabeth A. Shanton, 50, of Martinsburg, was indicted in 2013 on one count of felonious fraudulent schemes and 53 felony counts of unauthorized use of a state purchasing card. According to her indictment, between 2010 and 2012, Shanton bought $85,932 worth of items and services in half-dozen states.
Shanton’s case has had some starts and stops since the indictment, with the case coming before the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals in March 2015. At issue, according to a legal brief submitted by Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Ralph Lorenzetti, was whether or not Judge David H. Sanders overreached when he dismissed 53 counts of the indictment, on the basis that charging each swipe of the card would be double jeopardy in September 2014.
However, the high court ruled in May that the circuit court had “abused its legitimate powers and denied the state the right to prosecute its case against Ms. Shanton.” The court then reinstated the 53 counts in the indictment, accounting for each swipe of the card Shanton is accused of fraudulently using.