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Press Release

Suspended Norfolk Treasurer Sentenced to Six Years in Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia

NORFOLK, Va. – Anthony L. Burfoot, 48, of Norfolk, was sentenced today to six years in prison and ordered to forfeit $250,000 for conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud, honest services wire fraud, conspiracy to obtain property under color of official right, obtaining property under color of official right, and perjury. Burfoot is currently suspended as the Norfolk City Treasurer and is a former Vice Mayor of Norfolk and City Councilman.

“When elected officials engage in corruption it erodes public confidence in our democratic system of government,” said Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Burfoot’s well-publicized criminal exploits have eroded public confidence in how their tax dollars are used and managed, and his selfish actions feed the worst perceptions about public employees, of whom the vast majority perform their duties selflessly and admirably. I want to thank the Assistant United States Attorneys and the FBI for their diligence and dedication in pursing this important case.”

“Public corruption is one the FBI’s highest priorities and this case reflects our commitment to the citizens of Hampton Roads to aggressively and relentlessly root out criminal corruption in our community,” said Martin Culbreth, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office. “Citizens deserve good governance and faithful service from their public officials. Greed and self-interest have no place in public service and dishonorable officials will be thoroughly investigated and exposed. In this effort one of our most important partners is the public, and we encourage honest citizens to report suspicious activity to the FBI through our regional tip line at 1-844-FIGHTPC.”

Burfoot was found guilty by federal grand jury on Dec. 9, 2016. According to court documents and evidence presented at trail, from 2005 through in or about Feb. 15, 2011, Burfoot engaged in a scheme to defraud the citizens of Norfolk of their right to the honest services of a Norfolk Councilman, Vice Mayor, and Chief Deputy Treasurer. Specifically, Burfoot solicited things of value including money, car payments, and home appliances from individuals with matters before city council and, in exchange, promised to perform specific official acts as well as other actions on an as needed basis on their behalf. Burfoot had illicit relationships with the managers of Tivest Development company as well as Thomas Arney, another developer and local restaurant owner. The managers of Tivest paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to Burfoot and, in exchange, Burfoot voted in favor of City ordinances that provided City-owned land to Tivest for nominal cost and additional City funds for infrastructure improvements. At Burfoot’s request, Arney paid $25,000 to the mother of two of Burfoot’s children after Burfoot promised to obtain the necessary votes for Arney to open a gentlemen’s club on Granby Street in Norfolk. Burfoot also committed perjury, in numerous ways, by claiming under oath during a federal trial that he never accepted nor solicited a thing of value in exchange for performing an official act. Furthermore, according to court records and evidence presented at trial, Ronald Boone, another developer and local restaurant owner, provided cash, gifts, free access to a beach house, other things of value to Burfoot. In exchange, Burfoot performed specific official actions and promised to engage in future official actions to benefit Boone and his business interests.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Martin Culbreth, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge District Judge Henry C. Morgan, Jr. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Melissa E. O’Boyle, Uzo E. Asonye, and Katherine Lee Martin 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. 2:16-cr-6.

Updated April 17, 2017

Public Corruption