KIXE-TV worker admits to using donor credit-card numbers for purchases

By Dru Sefton

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.

After KIXE notified contributors who recently donated by credit card that their accounts may have been compromised, 10 additional donors came forward to complain, the police said. The monetary losses totaled about $5,000.

KIXE General Manager Mike Lampella confirmed to Current that Winchester was employed by an outside agency and was receiving training at the station to become membership coordinator. He declined to comment further.

The police department has turned the case over to the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office, and is seeking 11 counts of fraudulent use of credit card information and one count of embezzlement.

The district attorney’s office told Current the case is in process.

This item was corrected to reflect that Winchester was training to become KIXE’s membership coordinator, not membership director.

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