Roane County woman sentenced for embezzlement

CHARLESTON – A former Spencer-based oil and gas company bookkeeper was sentenced Thursday to two years in federal prison for embezzlement, officials said.

Rosalie J. Seabolt, 60, of Spencer pleaded guilty to mail fraud in August. The charge of embezzlement was addressed in federal court this month.

Seabolt was a previous employee at Kimco Inc. and its affiliate, Roy G. Hildreth and Son Inc. They are oil and gas companies in Roane County.

Seabolt was ordered to pay restitution of $815,693.27 to Kimco, and sentenced to two years in federal prison by U.S. District Judge John T. Copenhaver Jr.

Seabolt had been employed with the company for more than 25 years. Although not originally hired as the company bookkeeper, Seabolt was eventually promoted to the bookkeeper position, officials said.

According to a press release from the U.S. Attouneys Office in the Southern District of West Virginia, Seabolt wrote numerous unauthorized checks to herself from Kimco’s bank account between Sept. 9, 2000 and Dec. 24, 2012. These checks totaled $815,693.27, the press release said.

Seabolt deposited and cashed the unauthorized checks at her personal credit union over the time frame, the press release said. These unauthorized checks were hidden from Kimco repeatedly, as Seabolt recorded false information in the company’s books, indicating that the checks were made out to the affiliate company Hildreth, federal officials said.

Kimco’s bank, Poca Valley Bank, mailed monthly bank statements to Kimco that included check images. Seabolt was in charge of receiving these statements. She covered up the images of the checks she had written to herself, and destroyed portions of the statements that revealed her actions, the press release said.

The investigation into the embezzlement was conducted by the FBI and the West Virginia State Police. Assistant U.S. attorneys Merideth George Thomas and Philip Wright handled the prosecution for the case.

The case was part of the West Virginia’s Small Business Protection Initiative through the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our state’s economy,” said U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin about the case. “That’s why my office has focused on investigating and prosecuting cases like these, to protect small businesses and send a clear message that stealing from those businesses carries serious consequences,” Goodwin said.