Ex-treasurer to Va. state senator charged with embezzling

Associated Press

A former campaign treasurer for Virginia Senate Minority Leader Richard Saslaw was charged Monday with embezzling more than $650,000 in campaign funds.

Court records show that Linda Diane Wallis, 51, of Fairfax, is scheduled to enter a guilty plea next week in U.S. District Court in Alexandria to a charge of wire fraud conspiracy.

Prosecutors say Wallis, who also used the name Lynn Wallis Miller, wrote dozens of checks totaling $653,000 in 2013 and 2014 to two fake law firms she created to facilitate the fraud: one called The Straile Group and the other called Federal Legal Associates.

Court records state that Wallis did not report the payments on campaign finance reports.

"All of the checks were issued without knowledge or permission of Senator Saslaw or his campaign staff," Dana Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Dana Boente, said in a news release.

Saslaw, a Democrat from Fairfax County, routinely raises nearly hundreds of thousands of dollars annually, which he uses to help other Democrats. According to the Virginia Public Access Project, Saslaw's campaign has received $499,000 in contributions in 2015, $425,000 in 2014 and $480,000 in 2013.

Neither Saslaw's office nor Wallis' lawyer returned calls seeking comment Monday.

A court document indicates Wallis served as Saslaw's campaign treasurer from June 2013 through September 2014.

Court records also accuse Wallis of stealing from a logistics company in Chantilly and misusing funds from a charity where she was executive director, The Community College Consortium on Autism and Intellectual Disabilities (CCCAID).

Prosecutors say the total losses attributable to Wallis' fraud schemes exceed $1 million.

Wallis faces a maximum of 20 years in prison if convicted, prosecutors say.

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This story has been corrected to show that Wallis lives in Fairfax, not Frederick.

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