NORFOLK, Va. – Shawna Linell Edwards, 51, was sentenced Friday to one active year in prison for embezzling over $35,000 in copays and cash belonging to the medical practice that employed her.
From January 2016 through August 2018, Ms. Edwards worked for a local group of surgeons at their office in Norfolk. Ms. Edwards was responsible for submitting the practice’s bank deposits, which included cash service fees paid by patients. Rather than document and deposit those payments, Ms. Edwards stole them from her employer and kept them for herself, eventually taking over $35,000 over the course of more than two years.
In March 2018, an accountant discovered a discrepancy between the practice’s bank account and payment system records. After conducting an audit, the accountant discovered Ms. Edwards’ crimes. When confronted with this information, Ms. Edwards apologized and said she had embezzled the money because she was having financial and medical issues.
On Feb. 22, 2022, Ms. Edwards pleaded guilty to six counts of felony embezzlement. On Friday, Judge Jerrauld C. Jones sentenced Ms. Edwards to serve one active year in prison. The details of Ms. Edwards’ sentence include one year for each of the six counts of embezzlement, with five of those years suspended. Ms. Edwards’ suspended sentence is conditioned upon completing an indeterminate period of supervised probation and 20 years of good behavior, as well as paying restitution of more than $16,000 upon her release from custody.
Ms. Edwards’ criminal history includes Virginia Beach convictions of seven counts of obtaining prescriptions by fraud from 2009.
“Employees who betray the trust of their employers must pay the price for their crimes,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Ramin Fatehi. “When people steal, whether with a gun or a keyboard, we will hold them accountable.”
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Emily A. Woodley prosecuted Ms. Edwards’ case on behalf of the Commonwealth.