U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of West Virginia
(304) 234-0100
July 15, 2015

West Virginia Woman Sentenced to Two Years for Role in Bethany College Extortion Plot

WHEELING, WV—Rachaelle Marie Weese, 27, of Moundsville, West Virginia, was sentenced today to 24 months in prison for her role in extorting more than $1,000,000.00 from a former Bethany College employee, United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced.

Rachaelle Weese was previously convicted of “Extortion Conspiracy” after she and her husband, Jason Weese, extorted money from a female employee of Bethany College who was embezzling money from the school. Jason Weese exchanged sexually explicit text messages and photographs with the female employee. The couple then threatened to disclose the female employee’s theft as well as the existence of the relationship. They used the messages and photographs along with threats of physical force to coerce the female employee into giving them large amounts of the stolen money. They then used the embezzled funds to purchase automobiles, expensive jewelry, and illicit drugs.

Jason Weese was sentenced last year to 63 months in prison for his role in the conspiracy.

United States Attorney Ihlenfeld prosecuted the cases on behalf of the government. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Brooke County Sheriff’s Department investigated.

U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey presided.

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