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'Black Widow' pleads guilty to identity theft

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

“Black Widow” Sandra Camille Powers has had her day in court.

According to U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesperson Robin Zier, Powers, 63, pleaded guilty Monday to aggravated identity theft. She appeared before U.S. District Judge James C. Denver III.

Brunswick County Sheriff’s Lt. Marty Folding, who initially investigated Powers last year, said Powers faces up to two years in prison for her federal conviction.

Folding said a federal judge will decide May 19 if Powers will receive credit for time already served, which is now approaching one year.

Powers was charged federally July 10, 2007, with aggravated identity theft, mail theft, misuse of Social Security funds and access device fraud.

Powers was arrested in March 2007 for mishandling the financial accounts of a 77-year-old St. James woman, Sue Moseley, while serving as her caretaker.

Powers was originally facing obtaining property by false pretenses, forgery of an instrument and uttering a forged instrument.

But the local charges were dropped when Powers was charged federally, district attorney Rex Gore announced last July.

She had been in custody at the Brunswick County Detention Center from her March arrest until July on a $1.5 million bond. She was then taken to Greenville to face federal charges.

At the time of Powers’ arrest, Brunswick County Sheriff Ronald Hewett said her bond was set at $1.5 million because she was a flight risk with many aliases.

The investigation

Last July, Gore said the investigation was not a search for the “Black Widow,” but an investigation into the financial exploitation of a Brunswick County senior citizen.

It was Moseley’s son, Gore said, that noticed something seemed wrong with her financial records and alerted authorities.

“Detective Todd and Detective Marty Folding met with Ms. Moseley for the first time on February 22, 2007. Just six days later they had built a case and obtained warrants,” Gore said, adding the case’s developments ensnared her “securely in her own web of deceit and lies.”

Brunswick County’s investigation into Powers has prompted law enforcement officers in other jurisdictions to reopen cold cases, Gore said.

According to Dallas Observer reporter Glenna Whitley, there are still unsolved matters in the suspicious deaths of two of Powers’ former husbands and one friend, though Powers has never been charged.