Lynchburg, VA - The Lynchburg Sheriff's Office is responding to allegations that a Captain of theirs was involved in a criminal embezzlement investigation two years ago. The issue came up Tuesday night at a candidates' forum.
According to a press release from the Lynchburg Sheriff's Office, the Captain was being investigated for his dealing with Lynchburg Pawn Shop. A former employee of that Pawn Shop was convicted of embezzlement when he was found to be stealing gold from the shop.
According to Lynchburg Pawn's manager, his former employee was taking gold from their scrap gold pile and giving it to this Captain. He says the Captain would then sell the gold elsewhere and the two would split the profits.
ABC 13's Parker Slaybaugh has obtained transcripts from that court proceeding. The transcript says, Lynchburg Pawn began to suspect that the defendant, Julian Thaxton, the former pawn shop employee, may have been giving this jewelry to a preferred customer, Buddy Gene Wade.
The transcript goes on to say that Thaxton acknowledges that Wade, a Captain with the Lynchburg Sheriff's Office, would often frequent Lynchburg Pawn in uniform during business hours.
The transcript says Thaxton admitted that on numerous occasions he gave Wade jewelry and after they negotiated a price, Wade would leave without paying, with the presumed intention of reselling it and paying the defendant back later.
The former pawn shop employee was convicted of embezzlement, but nothing has happened to the Captain.
The press release from the Sheriff's Office Wednesday says Virginia State Police conducted an investigation and turned over their findings to the Lynchburg Commonwealth Attorney. The Commonwealth's Attorney, after reviewing the findings, closed the investigation and decided not to file any criminal charges.
The Sheriff's Office says their own internal investigation found a violation of policy had occurred regarding the use of a departmental vehicle.
They say appropriate disciplinary action was taken, but wouldn't elaborate.
The Pawn Shop Manager says he's disappointed more hasn't been done.
"Without a doubt I would think it's illegal. It is somewhat of a surprise I think it should have been looked into a little deeper, but we will see where it goes," said Sean Hardy, the manager of the Lynchburg Pawn.