By Sarah Mansheim
A local CPA has been sentenced to one to 10 years in prison for embezzlement by a fiduciary.
Jeffrey E. Lewis was sentenced on Tuesday by Greenbrier County Circuit Court Judge Robert E. Richardson to an indeterminate sentence of no less than one year, nor more than 10 years in prison, a $205,000 fine, court costs and reimbursement of a finder’s fee.
Lewis was found guilty in February of embezzling or otherwise misappropriating more than $832,000 when he was acting as a trustee of the John R. Dawkins Testamentary Trust. Beneficiaries to the trust, in addition to Dawkins, were Shriners Hospital for Children and the Hollowell Foundation in Lewisburg.
Prosecutors said that Lewis embezzled funds from the Dawkins trust between August 2010 and March 2014. Among the charges, the prosecution said that Lewis brokered a $2.7 million oil and gas lease in Maryland, and Lewis wrote himself a “finder’s fee” check for $137,492.65. Lewis was also alleged to have funneled funds from the account to pay for a house, a farm in Ronceverte for his son, and for renovations to the Bill Lewis Motors dealership in Lewisburg, which was owned by the Lewis family. Those funds totaled $832,000.
Lewis repaid the trust the $832,000, plus interest, before the three-day trial began. However, during the sentencing, Richardson ordered Lewis to repay the finder’s fee, saying there was no basis for him to collect that money.
Richardson agreed to allow Lewis to remain free on his current bond pending an appeal of his sentence.