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Search warrants show Roanoke city councilman may have used embezzled money to pay gas, power bills

‘A large amount of embezzled funds were used to pay for and purchase personal expenses and items,’ according to search warrants.

New search warrants reveal how a Roanoke City councilmen allegedly used $50,000 that he's accused of embezzling.
New search warrants reveal how a Roanoke City councilmen allegedly used $50,000 that he's accused of embezzling.

ROANOKE, Va. – Multiple search warrants are painting the picture of how police are investigating the embezzlement charges brought against a Roanoke city councilman.

Last month, Robert Jeffrey Jr. was indicted on two counts of felony embezzlement. The threshold for that charge is at least $1,000.

A search warrant filed on July 13 to search Member One Federal Credit Union records revealed that police believe Jeffrey embezzled more than $50,000 while he was the property manager for the Northwest Neighborhood Environmental Organization in Roanoke.

[What’s next for Roanoke Councilman Robert Jeffrey Jr. after felony indictments?]

Jeffrey is accused of making unauthorized transactions while in that role and “these transactions consisted of numerous unauthorized cash withdraws totaling at least $50,000, unauthorized debit card purchases, and unauthorized checks,” according to the warrant.

A search warrant filed on August 6 to search Appalachian Power Company records claims that Jeffrey used $2,010.36 in embezzled funds to make six payments to the company between Aug. 7, 2020, and Jan. 4, 2021.

Another search warrant filed the same day to search Roanoke Gas Company records claims that Jeffrey used $483.97 in embezzled funds to make a payment to the company on Nov. 20, 2020.

Prior to those two warrants being filed, authorities filed a search warrant on July 13 to search the records of Cash App. In the warrant, authorities ask for all records related to transactions made from July 2020 to March 2021 using a specific Visa debit card, as well as all account information for the following 16 user accounts who received payment from that debit card: Aleeza, Markia, Rachael, Sab, Robyn Cofo, Diamond Pr, Chante, Mikia Will, Malika Wel, Charmayne, Destiny Jo, Kelly, Deashia, Kendra Che, Sasha Fier and Jennifer A.

Police asked for those records because they believe that Jeffrey deposited embezzled funds into an American National Bank account that he had sole access to, then, over the course of several months, used his Cash App account to spend those deposited funds.

Police said they are looking to “attempt to identify the owners of the Cash App accounts and further [investigate] where a large amount of embezzled funds were sent to and for what purposes.”

Another warrant, filed with Apple, showed that authorities believe Jeffrey wiped data from his city-issued iPad after police confiscated it as part of their investigation.

Jeffrey’s case is scheduled for a two-day jury trial beginning Monday, October 25 in Roanoke City Circuit Court.


About the Author:

Jeff Williamson arrived at WSLS 10 in March 2016.