A woman who was training to become membership coordinator of KIXE-TV in Redding, Calif., has admitted to credit card fraud, according to local law enforcement. The Redding Police Department received a complaint in March from a KIXE donor who noticed a fraudulent charge on her credit card account after contributing to the public TV station. During their investigation, officers discovered items that had been purchased with the donor’s credit card in the Redding apartment of Stephanie Winchester. Winchester, 29, admitted that she had used multiple credit-card numbers that she had taken during her work at the station “to purchase goods and services for herself,” according to a police department press release. Winchester is also alleged to have “shipped KIXE property to her home address,” according to police.
This item has been updated and reposted with additional information. A former volunteer at Houston’s jazz format NPR affiliate KTSU has been jailed for allegedly stealing credit card information from listener pledge sheets and using the information to buy electronics and gift cards, which he would then sell for cash. Michael Whitfield, whom the Houston Chronicle reports has a history of financial crimes, was charged Jan. 9 with the fraudulent use and possession of identifying information for more than 50 people, a third-degree felony. Investigators say there are more than 20 confirmed cases but there could be as many as 300 potential victims.
Texas Southern University, which owns KTSU, released a statement Jan.
The Arizona man indicted on charges of embezzling federal funds that were given to start a Native radio station pleaded not guilty April 26 in the District of Arizona U.S. District Court, according to online court records. The attorney representing the defendant, John Bittner, said he may file a motion for Bittner to be mentally evaluated. A jury trial was set for June 5. As Current reported April 23, Bittner is alleged to have used $322,364 in Public Telecommunications Facilities Program funds on personal expenses, including a car, medical costs, child support payments and a trip to Las Vegas. After his indictment, Bittner attempted suicide and spent time in a hospital in Flagstaff, Ariz., his hometown.