A former West Virginia University Extension Agent has entered a guilty plea to an Information charging her with fraudulent schemes related to work with the Ritchie County Commission, Ritchie County Board of Education and 4-H.

Stephanie M. Deem, 39, of Harrisville, entered a guilty plea Tuesday, according to a news release from West Virginia State Auditor John McCuskey’s office.

Deem has a sentencing hearing Sept. 22 and could face up to 10 years in prison and fined up to $2,500. Deem also will be ordered to make restitution no less than $6,159.46, the release said.

An investigation by the State Auditor’s Public Integrity & Fraud Unit and the Ritchie County Sheriff’s Office found Deem sought and obtained travel and expense reimbursement on 57 occasions from the Ritchie County Commission, Ritchie County Board of Education and/or WVU Extension Service, the release said.

The investigation also found Deem misappropriated funds from an ox roast fundraiser and 4-H property rentals.

“This is a great example of the swift justice our office is able to bring. From beginning to end, this case was initiated, investigated, and completed in less than 6 months,” McCuskey said in the release. “This all culminated despite limitation of court proceedings during COVID. The public can be assured we will work tirelessly to hold government officials responsible when they take from the public trust.”