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Former Halifax sheriff indicted on felony embezzlement, forgery

A Halifax County Circuit Court Grand Jury returned 21 felony indictments Tuesday against former Halifax County Sheriff Stanley Noblin, 14 for forgery and seven for embezzlement.

The indictments came after a year-long investigation by Virginia State Police and Special Agent Accountant William Talbert Jr.

Noblin had been under investigation by Virginia State Police since October 2011 for allegations of embezzling or misusing asset forfeiture funds.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli authorized the investigation of Noblin acting on a request from Substitute Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric A. Cooke of Southampton County.

Cooke was appointed to prosecute the case when then-Halifax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Kim White recused herself from the investigation.

The indictments allege Noblin forged public records on or about Oct. 5, 2009, Sept. 4, 2009, Aug. 3, 2009, May 30, 2009, April 30, 2009, Dec. 8, 2010, Oct. 21, 2010, Sept. 6, 2010, June 22, 2010, June 21, 2011, June 9, 2010, March 3, 2011, Jan. 24, 2011 and on or about Jan. 3, 2011.

The indictments also allege Noblin embezzled property having a value of $200 or more on or between Nov. 13, 2008 and May 12, 2009, on or between the dates of May 13, 2009 and Nov. 12, 2009; on or between the dates of Nov. 13, 2009 and May 12, 2010; on or between the dates of May 13, 2010 and Nov. 12, 2010; on or between the dates of Nov. 13 and May 12, 2011; on or between the dates of May 13, 2011 and Nov. 12, 2011; and on or between the dates of Jan. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2011.

According to affidavits filed by Talbert, funds totaling $113,180.50 are unaccounted for.

The allegations against Noblin were first brought to the attention of White, who promptly recused herself from the investigation, with Cooke ultimately appointed by Cuccinelli.

Noblin responded in October 2011 to allegations he may have misused government funds, shortly before he was defeated for reelection by current Halifax County Sheriff Fred Clark.

“It’s unfortunate that allegations of this type would come out three weeks prior to the election,” said Noblin, adding he and the sheriff’s office would cooperate with the state on any type of investigation that they see fit.”

During the course of the investigation, search warrants were executed for bank accounts belonging to Noblin in several area banks.

A search warrant also was executed at the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office at the beginning of the investigation.

Attempts to contact Noblin and Cooke following the return of the 21 felony indictments were unsuccessful at press time Tuesday.