14 charged in scandal involving Va. county Economic Development Authority

14 charged in scandal involving Va. county Economic Development Authority
(Source: NBC12)

FRONT ROYAL, Va. (WHSV) — Fourteen people from Warren County and the northern Shenandoah Valley are facing charges for allegedly letting a woman get away with embezzling thousands from a government agency.

According to Virginia State Police, indictments were handed down by a Warren County special grand jury on Friday, Sept. 20, for 14 people connected to the Front Royal – Warren County Economic Development Authority (EDA).

Altogether, the fourteen people are facing 42 misdemeanor charges. Each one of them is charged with two counts of misfeasance and one count of nonfeasance.

Essentially, misfeasance is willfully failing to carry out public obligations under common law and nonfeasance is the failure to act where action is required under common law.

State Police accuse the group of individuals of knowing about alleged embezzlement of Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority funds by Jennifer R. McDonald and taking no action in response.

The fourteen people listed in the indictment are:

  • Mark A. Baker, 53, of Front Royal, Va.
  • William M. Biggs, 77, of Front Royal, Va.
  • Alexander G. Blanton, 72, of Front Royal, Va.
  • Tony F. Carter, 59, of Linden, Va.
  • Luke G. Drescher, 59, of Middletown, Va.
  • Bruce N. Drummond, 68, of Linden, Va.
  • Archie A. Fox, 78, of Strasburg, Va.
  • Linda P. Glavis, 75, of Front Royal, Va.
  • Ronald L. Llewellyn, 66, of Front Royal, Va.
  • Daniel J. Murray Jr., 72, of Middletown, Va.
  • Thomas E. Patteson III, 73, of Front Royal, Va.
  • Thomas H. Sayre, 54, of Front Royal, Va.
  • Douglas P. Stanley, 50, of Front Royal, Va.
  • Daniel N. Whitten, 36, of Front Royal, Va.

Virginia State Police launched an investigation into business practices of the Front Royal – Warren County EDA in August of 2018 at the request of the Front Royal Police Department.

Earlier this year, in May, 42-year-old Jennifer R. McDonald, of Front Royal, was charged with multiple counts of embezzlement as a result of that investigation. She later turned herself in.

Police say they uncovered McDonald’s misuse of funds from 2014 to 2018 while working with the agency.

Since her initial charges, multi-jurisdictional grand juries have handed up a total of 28 felony indictments against her, including six felony counts of embezzlement of more than/equal to $500, six felony counts of embezzlement of more than/equal to $200, eight felony counts of obtaining money by false pretense of more than/equal to $200, two felony counts of obtaining money by false pretense of more than/equal to $500, and five felony counts of conducting an unlawful financial transaction.

McDonald was released on bond in July.

Thirteen of the fourteen people indicted this past Friday turned themselves into police on Tuesday and went before a magistrate. Each was released on a personal recognizance bond. The only remaining individual, Daniel Whitten, will meet with the magistrate on Sept. 25, according to police.

The investigation remains ongoing.

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