CHARLESTON — A Fayette County woman entered a guilty plea to the felony offense of wire fraud, U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart announced.
Yvonne Dozier, 50, of Boomer, faces up to 20 years of incarceration, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release when she is sentenced on Feb. 13, 2020. She will also be required to pay restitution to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, where she was previously employed. Stuart praised the work of the U.S. Secret Service, the West Virginia State Auditor’s Office, and the WVDEP.
“This office has made the prosecution of public corruption a priority. There’s no such thing as a little bit of corruption, but this was no little bit,” said Stuart. “Dozier stole over $61,000 for such critical personal needs – wink, wink – as a vacation rental in North Carolina. This is the type of outrageous stuff that the people of West Virginia don’t deserve. Trusted public employees who steal from taxpayers need to pay a heavy price and Ms. Dozier will learn her fate when her sentencing occurs in February.”
Dozier previously was an accounting tech for WVDEP. She was given a state purchasing card and was allowed to make authorized purchases on behalf of WVDEP. These cards could not be used for personal purchases. Dozier used the card for personal purchases and fraudulently wired credit card information. She then altered invoices and modified the state accounting software to make the fraudulent purchases appear legitimate.
From 2014 to 2018, Dozier made hundreds of unauthorized purchases, costing West Virginia $61,753.72. Dozier gave a Mirandized statement to a special agent with the U.S. Secret Service in which she admitted to misusing the state purchasing cards to make personal purchases, altering invoices, and passing these expenses on to the state. The purchases moved money in interstate commerce both from the actual purchase with the credit card and the state’s paying her Visa card expenses. Dozier used her state purchasing card to pay for personal expenses such as electric, insurance, cable, and cell phone bills, and vacation rental homes. Dozier no longer works for the state.
U.S. District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin presided over the hearing. Assistant U.S. Attorney Erik S. Goes is handling the prosecution.