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*Former Shenandoah DSS official spared prison time

By Preston Knight -- pknight@nvdaily.com

WOODSTOCK -- The former Shenandoah County Department of Social Services office manager was spared prison time for embezzling money Wednesday in Circuit Court.

Jodi Cooper, 44, of Woodstock, was sentenced to 12 years in prison, all suspended, for four counts of embezzlement. She stole $67,129.60 and used it for payments on Sprint, DirecTV and Nutrisystem personal accounts, as well as to Shenandoah Memorial Hospital, Best Buy, Amazon, an event planning company, a salon and to pay taxes.

Judge Dennis L. Hupp had delayed sentencing numerous times to ensure that full restitution was paid. A check from the Virginia Retirement System was the main delay, and it finally arrived recently.

With restitution paid in full, the judge said he was willing to follow sentencing guidelines in the case, which called for no incarceration.

Cooper will, however, have six months of home confinement and must serve 3,000 hours of community service as special conditions on her supervised probation.

For further developments, visit nvdaily.com or read the print edition of The Northern Virginia Daily.

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