Embezzlement and Fraud: Shenandoah County Woman Pleads Guilty in U.S. District Court

HARRISONBURG, Va. – A woman from Shenandoah County, who was awaiting a jury trial on embezzlement charges in March, appeared in U.S. District Court on Monday. The jury trial scheduled for March is no longer necessary, as Elizabeth Keegan has pleaded guilty to two charges. According to Brian McGinn, Public Affairs Specialist for the United States Attorney’s Office, Western District of Virginia, Keegan admitted guilt to one count of identity theft and one count of credit card fraud.

The indictment, which was handed down in June 2023, reported the victim, identified as L.F.K., missing in August 2021 and still missing following the investigation. Additionally, Keegan’s mother, Lena Keegan, was reported missing to WHSV in 2022 by the Woodstock Police Department. It was revealed that Keegan had made at least $10,000 of purchases in the victim’s name and accessed the victim’s checks, debit card, social security benefits, retirement plan, and checking account without their consent or knowledge.

McGinn confirmed that from October 2019 through August 2021, over $175,000 in federal funds was withdrawn from the victim’s account and placed into Keegan’s account. Keegan’s actions highlight the severe financial impact caused by identity theft and fraud. The sentencing date for Keegan has not yet been set, indicating that the legal proceedings are ongoing.

The case serves as a reminder of the devastating consequences of financial exploitation and the importance of safeguarding personal financial information. The guilty plea illustrates the gravity of the charges brought against Keegan, and emphasizes the need for stringent measures to prevent and address instances of identity theft and fraud.

As the legal process unfolds, the impact of Keegan’s actions on the victim and their family may come to light, shedding further insight into the real-life repercussions of financial crimes. It is crucial for individuals and authorities to remain vigilant in detecting and addressing instances of identity theft and fraud, in order to protect the financial well-being and security of individuals and communities.