Fairfax Woman Sentenced for Embezzling $653,000 from Virginia State Senator
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Linda Diane Wallis, aka Lynn Wallis Miller, 51, of Fairfax, was sentenced today to 56 months in prison for her role in three fraud schemes totaling over $1.4 million in losses, including embezzling $653,000 from Virginia State Senator Richard Saslaw’s campaign fund. Wallis was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,429,599.
“Those who abuse a position of public and private trust by engaging in sophisticated fraud schemes will be held accountable for their actions,” said Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “This prosecution should serve as a deterrent to anyone contemplating similar theft for their own benefit.”
Wallis pleaded guilty on Oct. 15, 2015. According to court documents, Wallis participated in three separate fraud schemes from in or around January 2013 through in or around February 2014. In the first scheme, Wallis, along with a co-conspirator, D.M., created two fraudulent companies, the first known as Federal Legal Associates, and the second was The Straile Group. Through various methods including fraudulent wire transfers and checks, Wallis caused approximately $368,400 in loss to Company A.
The second scheme involved the embezzlement of 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 or caused to be issued, approximately 73 fraudulent checks from the Saslaw for State Senate campaign bank account, which totaled approximately $653,000. Wallis made the checks payable to the aforementioned Federal Legal Associates, The Straile Group, and herself. All of the checks were issued without knowledge or permission of Senator Saslaw or his campaign staff, and were deposited into accounts she independently controlled or that were jointly controlled with co-conspirator D.M.
The third scheme involved misuse of funds from a charitable organization, of which Wallis was Executive Director, and co-conspirator D.M., co-founded. The Community College Consortium on Autism and Intellectual Disabilities (CCCAID) claimed to provide assistance to community colleges for program development and implementation and information on the availability of resources for sustainability of programs. Wallis and D.M. marketed CCCAID as a non-profit entity, but they never applied for non-profit status for the organization. In April 2010, Wallis established CCCAID’s bank account, and between April 2010 and April 2013, community colleges located around the country contributed approximately $293,000 to CCCAID. Additionally, a Bulgarian businessman associated with co-conspirator D.M. donated $500,000 to CCCAID. The funds contributed to CCCAID were to be used to further the mission of the organization and not to enrich Wallis or co-conspirator D.M. Despite these restrictions, from April 2010 to August 2014, Wallis authorized approximately $482,000 in transfers from CCCAID’s account to other bank accounts Wallis and co-conspirator D.M. controlled. A significant percentage of the $482,000 CCCAID was used to pay Wallis’ and co-conspirator D.M.’s personal expenses, such as mortgage payments, expenses related to food and restaurants, merchandise purchases, and a vacation.
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. Attorney Uzo Asonye 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-285.