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Commonwealth's Attorney News Releases

Posted on: September 25, 2023

Commonwealth v. Elizabeth K. Sullivan

Woman Sentenced to 2 Years for Embezzling Thousands from Norfolk Employer in 2020

NORFOLK, Va. – On Friday, 31-year-old Elizabeth K. Sullivan was sentenced in Norfolk Circuit Court to two years in prison for embezzling close to $70,000 from her employer in 2020.

Between February and June 2020, Ms. Sullivan worked as the bookkeeper for a local, family-owned towing company. Ms. Sullivan abused the trust of her employer and stole from the company by charging personal expenses on the company credit card and then forging her supervisor’s signature on company checks to pay off the card balance. Ms. Sullivan is believed to have embezzled up to $70,000 from the company, and the company was in danger of going out of business due to Ms. Sullivan’s actions.

Ms. Sullivan pleaded guilty on July 19, 2023, to two counts of embezzlement, one count of forgery, and two counts of uttering (passing a forged check), and Judge Joseph C. Lindsey accepted her plea.

On Friday, the Commonwealth requested that the Court consider an upward departure from Ms. Sullivan’s sentencing guidelines, which called for probation, and recommended that the Court impose an active prison sentence of two years, which the Court did. Judge Lindsey sentenced Ms. Sullivan to two years in prison, with another three years suspended on the conditions that Ms. Sullivan complete three years of uniform good behavior and supervised probation. Ms. Sullivan is also responsible for repaying the money that she embezzled from her employer.

“A crime does not have to involve physical violence to be dangerous and wrong,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Ramin Fatehi. “Embezzlement is a major threat to the health and existence of small and family businesses, but many victims, concerned about reputational damage, never report this crime, leaving wrongdoers to victimize others. We commend these victims for coming forward. Ms. Sullivan abused the trust of her employer and nearly caused the business to go under, and we are gratified that Ms. Sullivan will serve a sentence that reflect the seriousness of her crime.”

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney A. Robinson Winn prosecuted Ms. Sullivan’s case on behalf of the Commonwealth. Norfolk Police Department Investigator Johnson Freeman investigated the case on behalf of the Commonwealth.

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