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Proctor Couple Found Guilty Of Fraud

By Staff | Oct 22, 2014

A Wetzel County couple has been convicted in federal court of stealing nearly $400,000 from a 90-year-old victim in order to purchase a vacation home in the Outer Banks.

United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II announced the verdict Monday.

Following a three-day trial, Timothy Summers, 67, and Lea Ann Summers, 52, of Proctor, were each found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, four counts of mail fraud, one count of securities fraud, and one count of interstate transportation of stolen property.

Evidence presented at trial showed that the couple collaborated to liquidate a significant portion of the victim’s investment holdings in PPG Industries stock. In late 2013, Lea Ann Summers reportedly called the stock holding company, Computershare, impersonating the victim, and sold 2,175 shares of PPG Industries stock.

She then arranged for the proceeds of the sale, approximately $397,030.15, to be sent to herself rather than the victim. Timothy Summers allegedly deposited the proceeds and transferred the money into a bank account which he shared only with his wife. The couple then travelled to North Carolina and purchased a beach house in the Outer Banks for $243,173.61.

The couple faces up to 20 years in prison for each of the five mail fraud counts, up to 20 years in prison for the securities fraud count, and up to 10 years in prison for the interstate transportation of stolen property count. They also face a fine of up to $250,000 for each of the seven counts. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendants.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys David Perri and Michael Stein prosecuted the case on behalf of the government. The Federal Bureau of Investigation led the investigation.

Chief U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey presided.

Tara Tighe, public information officer, community outreach coordinator, and assistant U.S. attorney of the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of West Virginia, stated that the investigation into the matter began in January 2014. She also stated that a sentencing date has not yet been set, as a pre-sentencing investigation must first be conducted.