Wednesday, January 16, 2013

WV Teacher Gets Prison for Identity Theft - Update

(Martinsburg, West Virginia)
A former Spring Mills Middle School teacher was sentenced Monday to serve five years in prison after pleading guilty to stealing her daughter's identity.

Rebecca Jean Ferguson, 41, was sentenced by West Virginia 23rd Circuit Court Judge Christopher Wilkes on eight felony counts of identity theft, two of which will be served under incarceration with the remaining six to be served on probation for a period of five years each.

Ferguson, who additionally awaits trial on 11 counts of child abuse, was further sentenced to pay restitution in the amount of $10,942.74. Additional "restorative" restitution in the amount of $10,000 will be paid to the victim, 21-year-old Caitlyn Sigler, who was between the ages of 14 and 15 when her identity and Social Security Number were used by Ferguson to open eight revolving credit accounts, with which she acquired debt she was unable to pay back, in 2005.
Ferguson's trial for child abuse is scheduled for May 29.

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WV Teacher Accused of Child Abuse, Identity Theft
[Previous 10/18/10 post]
(Martinsburg, West Virginia) Last month, a 39-year-old teacher formerly at Spring Mills Middle School, Rebecca Jean Ferguson, was accused of abusing her six children for years. She was charged with six counts of felony child abuse.

In a separate action, Ferguson was accused of stealing a daughter's identity to open multiple credit accounts. As a result, she was charged with nine counts of identity theft.
Both cases were investigated by the West Virginia State Police. As was the case with the latest charges, Ferguson previously waived her right to a preliminary hearing in Berkeley County Magistrate Court on the child abuse charges in exchange for early discovery.

The next time a Berkeley County grand jury convenes in Berkeley County is Oct. 19, which is the earliest Ferguson could be indicted. A grand jury is convened three times a year in Berkeley County in May, October and February.

If convicted, Ferguson could face one to five years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000 on each count of felony child abuse. If convicted of the identity theft charges, she could face no more than five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
Ferguson resigned her teaching position shortly after her arrest on September 10.

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