Former City of Clarksburg employee sentenced for embezzling more than $85K

Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 2:47 PM EDT
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CLARKSBURG, W.Va (WDTV) - A former City of Clarksburg employee was sentenced on Friday for embezzling more than $85,000.

Suzette Wagner was sentenced by Harrison Chief Circuit Judge Christopher McCarthy to 1-10 years, which will be served on home confinement, according to a release from the State Auditor’s Office.

Authorities say Wagner was also ordered to pay restitution to the City of Clarksburg in the amount of $85,348. Additionally, over the next four years, she will have to pay restitution in the amount of $39,607 to the State Auditor’s Office for the expenses and time spent investigating the case.

Wagner worked for the City of Clarksburg for 28 years, retiring in 2019 was the Chief Tax and Fee Collector.

Shortly after Wagner’s retirement, an investigation began into the missing funds.

Investigators found the embezzlement occurred from December 2017 through the end of 2019, when Wagner retired.

“This case in an excellent example of the partnerships forged between our Public Integrity and Fraud Unit and investigative agencies throughout the state,” State Auditor JB McCuskey said. “The expertise of our PIF-U in analyzing complex financial crimes is a great asset, and compliment, to the work from our local police officers and Sheriff’s deputies. We have developed a mechanism to go after those who are stealing taxpayer dollars and to finally hold them accountable, hopefully sending the message that this will not be tolerated.”

In court, Wagner said she would adjust accounts to cover the money she was stealing and used the money to pay bills, the State Auditor’s Office says.

Harrison County Assistant Prosecutor Brad Pustolski prosecuted the case.