News and Press Releases

Norfolk Woman Pleads Guilty to Embezzling 2.2 Million Dollars

March 1, 2011

NORFOLK, Va. – Leslie M. Coffman, 60, of Norfolk, Va., pleaded guilty today in Norfolk federal court to committing mail fraud.

            Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement after Coffman entered a guilty plea before United States Magistrate Judge Douglas Miller.  Coffman faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 when she is sentenced on June 1, 2011, by United States District Judge Raymond A. Jackson.

            According to court documents, Coffman had been an employee for approximately 20 years with Ballard Fish & Oyster Co., Inc. in Norfolk, Virginia.   Her duties included handling administrative and bookkeeping matters for the company.  The company engaged in the production, harvesting and distribution of clams and oysters.  From 2005 and continuing through 2010 Coffman devised a scheme to embezzle funds from the company.  She would create false entries into the company records to indicate certain corporate checks had been paid to transportation providers for the company.  In fact, Coffman would write these checks to pay off her personal credit card debt and mail them to the credit card companies each month.  From 2005 through 2010, Coffman embezzled a total of $2,293,696.00 from Ballard Fish & Oyster Co., Inc.

            The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  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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