West Virginia Women Admit Power Surge Scams

April 4, 2012

The government says two West Virginia women have pleaded guilty to filing fraudulent claims against a power company totaling nearly $600,000.

Prosecutors say 47-year-old Deborah Farmer and 45-year-old Julia Washington entered their pleas Monday to conspiracy charges related to mail and wire fraud.

According to the government, the women arranged to submit fraudulent claims to American Electric Power Service Corp. for damages related to power surges. Farmer is a former AEP property claims adjuster.

Prosecutors said the two recruited others for a cut of the proceeds. The made a total of 57 fraudulent claims totaling $598,485.

They are scheduled for sentencing on July 3. Each faces up to 20 years in prison and fines totaling $250,000.

Farmer is formerly from Winfield, while Washington is a Charleston resident.

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