ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Frank Michael Pearson, 45, a former Loudon County Sheriff’s Deputy from Winchester, was sentenced today to 36 months in prison for embezzling $229,381.01 from the asset forfeiture fund at the Loudon County Sheriff’s Office. Pearson was also ordered to pay $229,381.01 in restitution to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and complete three years of supervised release after he is released from prison.
Pearson was found guilty after a bench trial on March 31. According to court documents, court records and evidence presented at trial, beginning in 2006 Pearson was designated as the deputy responsible for overseeing the asset forfeiture program for the Loudon County Sheriff’s Office. The evidence presented at trial showed that beginning in or about February 2010, and continuing through October 2013, Pearson engaged in a scheme to embezzle and steal money that had been seized by other members of the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office for potential asset forfeiture. The evidence showed that Pearson embezzled money from 80 separate cases over this period, taking in excess of $229,000 that had been entrusted to him.
The evidence further proved that Pearson concealed his embezzlement scheme by making false statements to his coworkers and others about the timing and fact of whether he had deposited seized money into an escrow account maintained by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office at a local bank. For example, the evidence showed that on two separate occasions, Pearson re-used an old deposit slip from an unrelated case and passed it off as a new deposit slip to conceal the fact that he had not deposited all of the money entrusted to him. The evidence further showed that in at least one instance, Pearson took money seized in one case and passed it off as money that had been seized in another case, to hide his ongoing embezzlement. Financial records admitted at trial also showed that Pearson increased his personal cash deposits and cash spending during the more than three-year period of the embezzlement scheme.
The evidence also proved that late on the evening of Oct. 30, 2013, and in the early morning hours of Oct. 31, 2013, after being confronted by his supervisor about the location of missing money that had been entrusted to him, Pearson removed several boxes of money from the narcotics office where he worked, and never returned to work again.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Paul M. Abbate, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis, III. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew Burke and Mark D. Lytle prosecuted the case.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:15-cr-193.