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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

Monday, March 12, 2018

Richmond Lawyer Sentenced for Fraud, Tax Violations

RICHMOND, Va. – A former Richmond lawyer was sentenced today to one year in prison for bankruptcy fraud and failing to collect and turn over employment taxes.

According to court documents, Nnika White, 42, maintained a bankruptcy law practice in Richmond and owned a law firm, White & Associates, PLLC. In 2014, one of White’s bankruptcy clients inherited approximately $50,000 and turned over the checks to White. However, instead of disclosing the inheritance to the client’s bankruptcy trustee, White concealed the inheritance by depositing it into a firm account. After discussing the matter with the client, White then paid herself over $31,000 out of that account for legal fees. In later bankruptcy filings on behalf of the client, White never disclosed that she purported to be a creditor of the client’s, nor the fact of the inheritance, much less that she had been paid legal fees out of it. In part as a result of this conduct, White was disbarred.

As the owner of her law firm, White was responsible for collecting and paying over payroll taxes to the IRS. From approximately late 2011 through late 2015, White issued Forms W-2 to her employees that indicated she had withheld monies from employees’ salaries as income tax and social security contributions. However, White never paid the money to the government, instead keeping it for herself. Taking into account the employer matching portion (which White also did not pay), the total amount White failed to pay to the government exceeded $68,000.

Tracy Doherty-McCormick, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Adam S. Lee, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office, and Kimberly Lappin, Special Agent in Charge, Washington, D.C. Field Office, IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson.  Assistant U.S. Attorney David V. Harbach, II, prosecuted 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 is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:17-cr-159.

Financial Fraud
Joshua Stueve Director of Communications
Updated March 12, 2018