The former chief financial officer for the Bristol Virginia Utilities Authority, who was convicted in February 2016 on a variety of fraud charges as part of the federal government’s wide-ranging investigation into the agency’s corruption, was sentenced today in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Abingdon, United States Attorney John P. Fishwick Jr. announced.
Stacey Pomrenke, 44, of Abingdon, Virginia, was convicted in February 2016 following a jury trial of 14 counts, including one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, two counts of making false statements, one count of conspiracy to commit fraud, one count of attempting to commit wire fraud and five counts of wire fraud. Earlier this week, Pomrenke was also found guilty of contempt of court. Today in District Court, Pomrenke was sentenced to 34 months in federal prison and three years of supervised release. In addition, Pomrenke was ordered to pay $15,116 in restitution, $34,546 in money judgment forfeiture, a $10,000 fine and a special assessment of $1,400.
“The level of corruption this investigation uncovered has been simply astounding,” United States Attorney Fishwick said today. “We are proud of the work our partners in law enforcement have done in rebuilding the public’s trust in this entity and hope today’s sentence shows that when those in positions of public trust attempt to profit from corruption they will pay with their freedom.”
“What stronger statement could we make to taxpayers about the FBI’s commitment to rooting out public corruption than to charge and convict so many individuals involved in the elaborate Bristol Virginia Utilities schemes? As we’ve said before public corruption is the FBI’s top criminal investigative priority and we are committed to seeking out and holding accountable those who manipulate the system for personal gain. We continue to encourage citizens to report unethical and illegal activity to law enforcement,” said Adam S. Lee, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Division.
“By engaging in corrupt behavior and abusing her position, Pomrenke was able to line her pockets for personal gain,” said Thomas Jankowski, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Washington D.C. Field Office. “Today’s sentencing stands as an example that IRS-CI, along with the United States Attorney and our law enforcement partners, will continue to investigate and prosecute crimes involving fraud and in particular fraud that erodes the public’s confidence.”
According to evidence presented at previous hearings by Assistant United States Attorney Zachary T. Lee and Special Assistant United States Attorney Kevin Jayne, Pomrenke, who was the Chief Financial Officer at BVU, used her position with the utility to obtain things of value from vendors who were engaged in business relationships with BVU. Those things of value included tickets to baseball and football games, alcohol and the funding of official BVU company functions. Pomrenke also falsely reported wages and other financial benefits of BVU employees to the Internal Revenue Service.