West Virginia Couple Guilty of Stealing from Elderly Victim to Purchase Beach House
WHEELING, WV—A Wetzel County couple was convicted in federal court of stealing nearly $400,000.00 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 today.
Following a three day trial, Timothy Summers, 67, and Lea Ann Summers, 52, of Proctor, West Virginia, were 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 called the stock holding company, Computershare, impersonating the victim, and sold 2,175 shares of PPG Industries stock.
Mrs. Summers then arranged for the proceeds of the sale, approximately $397,030.15, to be sent to herself rather than the victim. Timothy Summers 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.