North Carolina woman pleads guilty in federal court to wire fraud, money laundering charges

Published 6:20 am Saturday, October 9, 2021

A Fayetteville woman pleaded guilty in federal court September 30 to charges of wire fraud and money laundering arising out of schemes to defraud the United States Department of Defense (DoD) and businesses in the Eastern District of North Carolina, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office, Eastern Distric of North Carolina.

According to court documents, from 2011 to 2020,  Stephanie Dianna Elliott, aka “Stephanie Wilson,” aka “Stephanie Moore,” aka “Stephanie Russell,” aka “Stephanie Hanchett,” aka “Vicki Marsh,” aka “Monica Allen,” aka “Melissa Standford,” aka “Jennifer Taylor,” aka “Heidi Litchford,” aka “Sandy Morehead,” aka “Randy Morehead” aka “Katie Jones,” aka “Sharon Mitchell,” aka “Sharon Miller,” aka “Sarah James,”  and aka “Janet Harrington,”  45, used aliases and more than a dozen business entities to obtain more than 1,000 federal defense contracts valued at more than $2.2 million. According to the allegations in the indictment, Elliott defrauded the Department of Defense by obtaining contract payments after falsely certifying that she had shipped supplies to the U.S. military, when, in fact, the goods were not shipped. It is alleged that Elliott and/or businesses under her control were debarred from federal contracting on four occasions. Elliott allegedly circumvented the terms of her debarments by using aliases and various business names to continue bidding on federal contracts, according to the release.

“Elliott also executed fraud schemes in connection with contracts with the State of North Carolina and other state governments,” stated the release. “Elliott bid on contracts to supply food products and other goods. After winning the contracts, Elliott defrauded third party vendors by inducing them to deliver the goods to the state in satisfaction of Elliott’s contractual obligations. In so doing, Elliott obtained payment from state governments for these contracts but failed to pay the victim vendors.”

Elliott pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering and faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison when sentenced on a date to be determined.

G. Norman Acker III, acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement. The Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the General Services Administration, Office of Inspector General are investigating the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Toby Lathan is prosecuting.

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