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Former Halifax sheriff pleads guilty to embezzlement

Former Halifax County Sheriff Stanley L. Noblin pleaded guilty Friday morning in Halifax County Circuit Court to five embezzlement charges in connection with the appropriation of sheriff’s office funds for his personal use, including asset forfeiture funds and drug task force funds.

Pursuant to a plea agreement, the commonwealth chose not to prosecute at this time two additional related felony embezzlement charges and 14 felony forgery charges against the former sheriff.

There was no agreement regarding sentencing, with sentencing in the case continued to Oct. 17.

Substitute Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric A. Cooke of Southampton County told Judge J. Leyburn Mosby Jr. Noblin converted an estimated $103,930 in sheriff’s office monies for his own use, including $48,500 from the asset forfeiture fund and $32,500 from the drug task force fund.

Approximately $9,250 of the funds was used for legitimate expenses, according to Cooke, who expects Noblin would owe restitution in the amount of $103,930.38.

The prosecutor told the court that Noblin had met with Virginia State Police and Special Agent Accountant William Talbert Jr. on several occasions during the investigation and admitted he had converted sheriff’s office funds to his own use because of financial hardship.

Noblin’s wife had no knowledge of Noblin’s activities, according to Cooke.

Noblin’s attorney, Glenn L. Berger of Altavista, affirmed his client has admitted his guilt and has taken responsibility for his actions.

There was no “scheme” to hide it, and none of the embezzled monies was used for illegal activities, Berger told the court.

Cooke told the court that as part of the plea agreement the commonwealth will “not be seeking other charges.

“The citizens here want closure,” Cooke noted.

“It’s a good resolution,” said Mosby when referring to the plea agreement.

“The matter needs to be resolved with the citizens in the county. I think five is certainly enough.”