Federal Prosecutors: Loudoun Sheriff’s Deputy Indicted for Stealing $200 Grand from Asset Forfeiture

Court News and Arrests

Loudoun Sheriff’s Deputy Indicted for Stealing $200 Grand from Asset Forfeiture

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Frank Michael Pearson, 44, a former Loudoun County Sheriff’s Deputy from Winchester, Virginia, was indicted by a federal grand jury today on four counts of theft concerning programs receiving federal benefits in relation to his alleged embezzlement of over $200,000 from the asset forfeiture fund at the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.

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Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and David J. LeValley, Special Agent in Charge of the Criminal Division, FBI Washington Field Office, announced the charges after the grand jury returned the indictment today.  An arraignment has been scheduled for July 24, 2015 at 9 a.m. before U.S. District Judge T. S. Ellis, III.

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Pearson faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison on each count if convicted. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

According to the indictment, beginning in 2006 Pearson was designated as the deputy responsible for overseeing the asset forfeiture program for the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office. The indictment further alleges that from in or about 2010 through in or about 2013, Pearson embarked on a scheme to embezzle and steal money totaling in excess of $200,000, which had been entrusted to him in connection with the program.  The indictment further alleges 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.

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the Virginia State Police. The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office cooperated with the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew Burke and Mark D. Lytle are prosecuting the case.  

Just as so many Sheriff’s Offices and Police Departments have little or no internal or independent review of funds entrusted to the agency, such theft often goes undiscovered or unpunished.

In the case of the St. Mary’s County Md. Sheriff’s Office, one deputy stole drug funds and no supervisors were ever held accountable.  In another case with the same agency, the Assistant Sheriff, Capt. Steven Doolan, stole nearly $80,000 in building materials from property held and allowed the material to be illegally released to his stepson and to a friend of the Captain. Doolan finally, faced with being fired, was allowed to retire by Sheriff David Zylak. Doolan was never prosecuted by St. Mary’s County States Attorney Richard Fritz. At the time, Doolan’s wife was the campaign treasurer for Fritz. 

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