News and Press Releases

Former Franklin Attorney Pleads Guilty to Bankruptcy Fraud

January 26, 2010

(NORFOLK, Va) - James Edward Moyler, Jr., 79, of Williamsburg, Va. pled guilty today in Norfolk federal court to one count of false declaration in a bankruptcy case.  Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by United States District Court Judge Mark S. Davis.  Moyler will be sentenced on April 30, 2010.

According to court records, Moyler, a disbarred former attorney, had practiced law since 1955 in Franklin, Va.  In October 2008, he and his wife voluntarily filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Moyler filed a false bankruptcy petition, declaring under penalty of perjury that it was true and correct.  He failed to list over $3,900,000 in liabilities he owed the estate of Lucille K. Steinhardt.       

Court records show that Moyler was named the executor under the will of Lucille K. Steinhardt.  As fiduciary, Moyler was required to file an initial inventory and accountings with the Commissioner of Accounts in Southampton County.  In June 2001, an initial inventory was filed by Moyler and inspected by the Assistant Commissioner of Accounts.  The inventory listed assets in the personal estate at a value of approximately $3,917,363.76 and assets of real estate at a value of approximately $155,000.  No accounting of estate funds was filed until February 2009, after a judge directed that an accounting be filed.  Moyler filed the accounting covering October, 31, 2000 to January 20, 2009.  The accounting reflects that during this period he had converted to his personal benefit approximately $3,954,600 from the estate of Lucille Steinhardt.  He listed this conversion of funds as “J. Edward Moyler, Jr.-LOAN.”  A revised account for the Estate of Lucille Steinhardt, filed in November 2009 in the Circuit Court of Southampton County, Va., reflect the disbursements to read “J. Edward Moyler, Jr. PC-LOAN.”

This case was investigated by the Virginia State Police and the Office of the United States Trustee, Norfolk, Virginia office.  Supervisory Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. Seidel, Jr. is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

            A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at or on


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