Attorney Convicted of Embezzling Over $1.5 Million from Virginia Senator, Canadian Business, and Autism Organization
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A federal jury convicted a Fairfax attorney today on charges of conspiring to defraud and to launder fraud proceeds totaling over $1.5 million, including funds embezzled from Virginia State Senator Richard Saslaw’s campaign account, a Canadian business, and an organization intended to support students with autism and other intellectual disabilities.
According to court records and evidence presented at trial, David H. Miller, 70, conspired with his wife, Linda Diane Wallis, to defraud three categories of victims from 2011 through 2014. First, Miller, an attorney, conspired with Wallis to create two fake law firms, Federal Legal Associates and The Straile Group. Miller and Wallis used the two fake law firms to fraudulently bill Miller’s employer, SkyLink Air and Logistic Support, Inc. (SkyLink), a Canadian based aviation company that maintained an office in Dulles, for purported legal work that was never actually performed. Miller and Wallis caused approximately $368,400 in losses to SkyLink.
Second, Miller and Wallis embezzled approximately $653,000 from the campaign account of Senator Saslaw. From June 2013 to September 2014, Wallis served as the treasurer of the Saslaw for State Senate campaign. During that time, Wallis issued over 70 fraudulent checks from the Saslaw for State Senate campaign bank account, which totaled approximately $653,000. All of the checks were issued without the knowledge or permission of Senator Saslaw or his campaign staff, and were ultimately deposited into accounts that were controlled by Miller or Wallis.
Third, Miller and Wallis misappropriated funds from an autism organization, which Miller co-founded and for which Wallis served as the Executive Director. The organization, known as The Community College Consortium on Autism and Intellectual Disabilities (CCCAID), claimed to provide assistance to community colleges to develop programs for individuals with autism and other intellectual disabilities. Between April 2010 and April 2013, community colleges located around the country and an individual donated approximately $783,000 to CCCAID. The funds contributed to CCCAID were supposed to be used to further the mission of the organization and not to enrich Miller or Wallis. Despite these restrictions, from 2011 through 2014, Miller and Wallis embezzled over $600,000 from CCCAID’s bank account and used the money to pay their own personal expenses.
Miller and Wallis laundered the proceeds of their crimes through multiple bank accounts and ultimately spent the funds on lavish personal expenses, including mortgage payments on a million-dollar home in Fairfax, renovations to an oceanfront property owned by Miller in Bethany Beach, Delaware, dues payments to the Country Club of Fairfax, and travel on private aircraft from Manassas to Montego Bay, Jamaica for a family vacation at a luxury oceanfront resort.
Miller’s co-conspirator and wife, Linda Diane Wallis, previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 56 months in prison on Mar. 18, 2016.
Miller faces a maximum penalty of twenty years in prison on each of ten counts of conviction when sentenced on Jan. 24, 2020. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Timothy M. Dunham, Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Division, FBI Washington Field Office, made the announcement after Senior U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III accepted the verdict. Assistants U.S. Uzo E. Asonye and Samantha P. Bateman are prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:17-cr-213.