CHARLESTON, W.Va.—Yesterday, Circuit Judge Eric O’Briant sentenced a former utility
clerk for the Town of Man. Sherry Sansom, 51, of Accoville, formerly entered her guilty plea
to an Information charging her with falsifying accounts as it related to stealing over six figures
from utility deposits she collected but failed to deposit in the Town’s bank account. Sansom was
sentenced to 1-10 years in the penitentiary, which was suspended for 7 years of supervised
probation. Sansom was also ordered to repay the Town of Man restitution of $166,096.79.
The State Auditor’s office was appointed Special Prosecutor by the Circuit Court to handle
several matters involving potential fraud in Logan County. The Auditor’s prosecution
team received this case from work performed by the state’s Commission on Special
Investigations and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District. The case evidence showed
Sansom immediately accepted responsibility for her actions when confronted by investigators.
Accounting of the deposits demonstrated the total loss to the Town over a 5-year period to be the
ordered restitution amount.
As part of her allocution to the Court, Sansom expressed remorse and blamed her heavy use
of prescription painkillers as fueling her actions. “I lived half my life in addiction,” Sansom said.
“I will not go back to that life again. I’m not that person anymore and I’m sorry.” Sansom’s
Attorney, Tim DiPiero, in asking for probation, noted that his client had taken it upon herself to
enter rehabilitation when her crimes were discovered more than 5 years ago.
State Auditor John B. McCuskey is grateful for the interagency cooperation that led to obtaining
this conviction. “This is a great example of our office working with the legislature’s
investigative arm, and federal and state prosecutors, to obtain convictions on cases which might
otherwise fall through the cracks,” McCuskey said. “We take no joy in these prosecutions, but
we’re committed to keeping the use and mis-use of public funds transparent, and in so doing we
hope this incident serves as a deterrent to anyone planning such a scheme.”
If anyone knows of any fraud against the state, county or local government, they should call
(833) WV-FRAUD or file an anonymous online report at www.wvsao.gov.