Claiming not to remember the past decade was not a good way try to escape hard time — at least not for Frank Pearson, a former Loudoun County sheriff’s deputy sentenced Friday to three years in prison for embezzlement.
Pearson, who from 2010 to 2013 stole $229,000 in forfeited assets he was charged with overseeing, maintained throughout his trial that he had amnesia covering 10 years.
U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III, who presided over Pearson’s bench trial and found him guilty, said Friday that he does not believe the claim.
“You may have convinced yourself that you don’t remember these events,” Ellis said, but “your claim of amnesia doesn’t resonate with me.”
Defense attorneys said before the trial that in October 2013, after Pearson’s wife found him unresponsive on the bathroom floor of the family’s home, he woke up thinking the year was 2001 and he was unable to recognize friends he had met after that year.
“I grew up in a society where corruption was rife,” said Ellis, who was born in Colombia. “Corruption by government can kill a society.”
Prosecutors noted that not all of the lost funds have been accounted for. The night before he was due to meet with supervisors who had grown suspicious, Pearson was seen leaving the office with two boxes that another deputy said contained rolls of coins.
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