Ruritan Treasurer to be Charged with Embezzlement

The Clarke County Ruritan called a special meeting of members Monday night to reveal what has been an ongoing investigation into a massive embezzlement case. President Jerry Beydler told meeting attendees that Ruritan treasurer Laura Lloyd will be indicted for allegedly embezzling over $240,000 from the organization. The crime is believed to have occurred over a period of five years during which Ms. Lloyd apparently embezzled approximately one thousand dollars per week.

The discovery was made months ago when Ruritan officers were called to the Bank of Clarke to sign papers for a transaction. When the officers told bank officials they were unaware of the transaction an investigation ensued and revealed that it was fraudulent. Officials from the Ruritan attempted to resolve the issue, but have been unable to do so and it will now be turned over to the state for legal proceedings.

Ms. Lloyd was employed by the Bank of Clarke County during the time period which the embezzlement occurred. She has since been dismissed from the institution.

The Clarke County Ruritan is a volunteer organization that engages in a variety of community service projects. Their most prominent activity in the community is the annual Clarke County Fair.

Neither the Ruritan nor legal counsel responded to questions about the alleged embezzlement.

____________

Update May 3, 2012: John Hudson Senior Vice President and Marketing Director at the Bank of Clarke County provided an official statement from the organization regarding the alleged embezzlement of the Ruritan Club saying, “The acts of embezzlement of which former employee Ms. Lloyd is accused are unrelated to her Bank position or duties.  The Bank is aware of no allegations that she engaged in unlawful activity that resulted in a loss to the Bank.”

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Katapoet says:

    It is a terrible breach of trust that this woman was able to commit theft to this degree. She was sneakily good at it, and had no problem with spasms of conscience, apparently. No matter why the money was embezzled, it was illegal. How sad for the company that this occurred in their house, and on their time. I’ve heard only good things about Bank of Clarke County. Too bad.

  2. Sunshine says:

    Many thoughts are directed to this sad discovery but the first was – why did it take so long to be discovered? Then, I’m sorry for her family members.

    Also, relieved she no longer works for BOC (my tiny account wouldn’t help anyone) and hope charges are written and filed properly so full restitution is demanded. Don’t want to hear that either entity’s insurance company will cover the loss of funds. Too many people walk with very little time and not required to pay it back.

  3. I’m glad they’re pressing charges, and I’m glad they’ve named the culprit. Such a shame when a great organization such as the Ruritans is taken advantage of by someone in a position of trust. Hopefully she is made to pay financial restitution to the Ruritans, as they obviously tried to work things out with her without involving the law. I hope they throw the book at her now.

  4. In March 2010, a Winchester woman was sentenced to 8 years in prison and ordered to pay $300,000+ in restitution to the Shenandoah Valley Baptist Church Academy as a result of pleading guilty to 55 counts of embezzlement.
    If Ms. Lloyd embezzled $240,000 @ $1000 for week, she’s likely facing 240+/- counts.

  5. hhmmm... says:

    This is a hard one. This woman did wrong..terribly wrong…which is hard to fathom if you know her or her family. They are such nice helpful members of the community. Which will be hard for some of you to believe after hearing about this. I hope that justice will be done..but I also hope they can work out something other then putting her in jail. That will cost taxpayers money, when possibly she can make restitution and community service. And, it would be great if we can remember that they are life long members of Clarke County. Whether are friend, or family, or our neighbor. She screwed up.. BIG…and now she will pay..but we can be respectful and respect her families feelings.( I am not a family member in case you were wondering) I just feel bad for her son and also her parents

    • It is truly unfortunate when those who chose to knowingly break the law don’t consider the devasting effect their actions will ultimately place upon those close to them. But criminal behavior is selfish. Ms. Lloyd’s alleged embezzlement illustrates a blatant disrespect towards the Ruritan association, her employer, her community, her friends and her family.

    • I would agree with you. I know Laura and this does surprise me. Underneath it all, I do think she’s a good person who made a horrible mistake, but making a mistake is not an excuse when clearly she knows better. I don’t necassarly want to see her serve time, but at the same time I think she probably deserves it.

      I do hope the ruritan learns from this. Clearly they need to check up on their treasurer. It is by no means their fault, but maybe less damage could have been done and they wouldn’t be out so much money.

    • LongTimer says:

      It would be nice if she did not have to spend time in jail. It would also be nice if every citizen of Clarke County could do wrong and not spend time in jail. Seriously? How likely is that???

  6. greenhouse supporter says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more valaw. Not only was it disrespectful but it also betrayed the trust that The Ruritan Assn. and the Bank of Clark County bestowed on her. I regret that it will cause her family such pain and I am sure embarassment, but that was her choice. As far as her being helpful to her community…….she helped her self to money that did not belong to her and now she will have to pay the consequences. Unfortunately, today, alot of people want to make it easy on the criminal…….and what she did was a crime. If you want to sympathize with someone, feel sorry for the Ruritan’s who trusted not only a member but a long time friend that they had respect for. I just hope that the Ruritan Association will be able to recoup some of their losses. I have no horse in the race…….I’m just a Clarke County resident that supports the Ruritan’s in their decision.

  7. hhmmm... says:

    I agree, valaw. Completely. My view is this…She will be prosecuted… I’m sure of that. My thing is that I’m letting personal views in.That I know. I just don’t wan’t to prosecute her here. The judge/ and or jury will do that. I just keep thinking of her parents who are in their late 70’s early 80’s on here. It’s hard enough for them to take I’m sure. Until this point that woman was a upstanding member of this community…and her parents still are. Let’s remember their feelings. Any member of your family or mine can do a stupid thing…a completely stupid thing. It can happen to us all. We shouldn’t condemn them all. She will be prosecuted. Which will be enough punishment, I’m sure of that.. I would just rather she was persecuted in court…she hurt herself and her family. And, now she will pay..but do her parents, who btw have helped this community in absolutely anyway they could need to be persecuted also? I just don’t think so..and you wouldn’t either if you knew them

    • hhmmmm, I have nothing but genuine compassion for everyone affected by Ms. Lloyd’s alleged actions. No one is condemning or persecuting her family here.

  8. life is good says:

    Embezzlers knowingly take money that is not theirs. They know what they are doing, they know it is a crime, and when they keep doing it, deserve the harshest penalty no matter if the family are good ol boys and girls or not.

    • life is good says:

      Glad to know people disagree with not condoning criminal activities.

      Would this be true for an out of towner?

  9. greenhouse supporter says:

    Nobody is talking about persecuting her family. Her family is not responsible for the choices she made. For five years she apparently was making bad choices so she must have been an upstanding member of the community before that. You are absolutely right, any member of anyones family can make a mistake or do something stupid, but five years of mistakes and being stupid are a little over the top to let her remain free and try to make restitution. I have grown children myself, if they were to have done the same thing I would expect them to pay the consequences of their actions…..same as when they were growing up.

  10. wonder says:

    Where was the Ruritan for 5 years??????? Have they never heard of AUDIT?

  11. hhmmm... says:

    Well said, greenhouse supporter!..Don’t get me wrong. She needs to pay for her mistakes. Completely. The only point I have is that let the judge/ and or jury do it. Her family already has. That I’m sure of. I’d just rather wait then have her crucified in the system, not here. . She. lives here along with her family. She works here…along with her family. If you’re from here you take care of your own. That’s Clarke County. Always has been.
    And if I or anyone else who lives here, works here, and and has a interest invested here it always will be. Which means that yes , she did wrong. She knows it. We know it and, yes she will pay for it. That doesn’t meant that her family has to. You can rest assured they did not raise her this way. My point is this- she was raised right from wrong. She got into something that she should not have…no question there…but no one should get on their high horse and say it can’t happen to them..because it very well can.

    • Clarke County Annie says:

      hhmmm: This forum is not berating her family at all. In fact, half of the comments so far share concerned sentiment about her family or don’t mention them at all.

      What is being mentioned is the shock and dismay that “one of our own”, so to speak, would have taken such liberties and impacted two local Clarke County businesses in such a shocking and willful manner.

      Will there be some whispers behind the hand? Yes, but that is part of being a small town and human nature. Will more people feel sorrow for the family? Yes, if they have ever had a tragic family event in their life. I understand your concern for the family but I don’t see that anyone has gotten on their high horse about it.

      • hhmmm... says:

        Thank you Annie. You are right. I got caught up in thinking of one aspect of it. It is a tragedy. I don’t understand what her way of thinking could be..or also how she even got away with it for so long. Luckily it was finally caught and hopefully she will get help with her problem….along with paying for her mistake.

    • LongTimer says:

      It can happen to anybody sure. Point is though yes while family takes care of their own, who’s taking care of the interest of the Ruritans and the BOCC? I would expect anyone in my family to per prosecuted if they did anything like this.

  12. Clarke Life says:

    I am sorry but you coming on here and taking up for someone who STOLE that kind of money is terrible. Its speaks to your character if you ask me! I could see if it was a thousand bucks or something. But look at what she took……. That’s plain ridiculous!!!!!!

  13. hhmmm... says:

    Valaw…thank you for listening and understanding…Clarke life.. You talking to me? I’m guessing not because it doesn’t sound like you’re reading my post in an open mind. I agreed she should be in trouble. Nowhere in my post did I say anything differently. What I did say was not to condemn. She will be in trouble. The judge/ and or jury will take care of that. I’ll try to make my view simple for you. Let the system do it. She was in the wrong. That’s clear enough. I just don’t see the point in making the family, friends, or neighbors feel worse. The family I guarantee feeIs horrible although it wasn’t their fault of course but it was a member of their family. If you have a ‘perfect’ family go ahead and throw stones…but keep in mind it might come back and get you…

  14. smitty says:

    Was this lady so upstanding that no one but her from the ruritan ever saw or reviewed the treasures book or reports? Did she have so much control that she was able to make transactions without at least one other officer involved? If so, I will bet it is a lot different now.
    She should have to pay every cent back. Plus all funds that may have been gained with interest and all cost incurred by the Ruritan’s to see this through.

    Also banish her from ever being a member of any civic org. in this area.

    I don’t consider alleged stealing of close to a quarter million a mistake. If you need more funds to make ends meet in these tough times. Instead of stealing, try a second job.

    • george fox says:

      We don’t have a lot of real information, do we – just the bare bones. I think there may be more to it than “needing more funds to make ends meet”, and I think “greenhouse supporters” crack about “A VP from a local bank” is a nasty and gratuitous near-libel. Back off, be decent about the family and wait for the facts.

      • ProArte says:

        Bravo, Mr. Fox. It seems as though the other commenters have already convicted and sentenced her. They should be aware of the word “alleged,” which reinforces the American principle of justice that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Maybe she is and maybe she isn’t, but she is entitled to the presumption of innocence in the absence of an admission of guilt.

        • Another View says:

          The presumption of innocence is only applicable in a court of law. Ordinary citizens need not abandon all common sense or profess ignorance in view of the facts.

          • ProArte says:

            Yes, in US criminal justice presumption of innocence of the accused must be overcome by proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt for a conviction. My point is that American society would be on more ethical, more compassionate grounds if this presumption were more generally afforded to defendants by community members even when “facts” reported in the press and rumors in the community point to guilt. Often, in trial, some “facts” turn out not to be so, and subtleties emerge casting a much different light on the defendant. I join “george fox,” above, in asking that we “be decent” and let the process of justice proceed.

          • Another View says:

            What you are really advocating is the assignment of all judgment to the government’s judicial system, and stripping society of any responsibility for reviewing and “disciplining” its members. For example, O.J. Simpson murdered his wife, but the jury found him not guilty. Not guilty does not mean innocent. Should society’s members be expected not to have an opinion, and perhaps shun O.J. Simpson?

            And to whom are we being more compassionate by withholding judgment? What about the victims of crime? Do they not deserve our compassion?

            Sometimes arrests are not warranted, and the accused is innocent. This is not one of those occasions.

          • I would agree with you. However, ordinary citizens do not have all the facts.. Realistically, the only fact we have is that the Ruritan believes she committed this crime.

  15. greenhouse supporter says:

    If they found out when the bank called them to sign for a transaction, what happened for the other 2,399 transactions? As far as audits go…..I’m sure hindsight is 20/20…but I guess when you have a VP from your local bank as your treasurer you feel pretty secure.

  16. clarke conservative says:

    If they were unaware, I feel very sorry for her family. Their life will never be the same.

    If Laura Lloyd is found guilty she should receive the maximum prison sentence possible. There is no excuse for this level of breach of trust, especially considering her position at the Bank of Clarke County.

    Shame on the Ruritans for letting this happen. 5 years is a very long time. Couple this unfortunate event with the SAAA and it should be a wake up call for ALL organizations – private, public, non-profit, otherwise.

    • “…Shame on the Ruritans for letting this happen. 5 years is a very long time….”

      How in the world can you even think that the Ruritans “let” this happen? They had no idea until bank officers called them.

      • clarke conservative says:

        It is called an internal audit, which should be done on at least a yearly basis.

        To quote our greatest President: “Trust, but verify”. If it is good enough for the Russians, it is good enough for the Ruritans.

  17. Clarke 1 says:

    She worked at the bank and obviously had her little set-up going…… The facts are there. I know several people in this community and this has been coming for some time…. I understand times are hard and tough, trust me I know all to well. But I am not going around and stealing money from my job as a result either. She deserves all she gets.

    Have a good day, HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

  18. greenhouse supporter says:

    I was replying to Wonder’s comment about audits…. Yes, any organization that handles funds should have those accounts audited. My comment about the vp at local bank was only meant to suggest that they made a bad judgement in not doing audits due to her position at the bank. As far as her family is concerned I have made no comment other than they are not to be held responsible and I do have sympathy for them. As I said before, I don’t think anyone is holding the parents responsible for what an adult child may be responsible for….that is usually the case with minor children.

  19. Fact is the ruritans wanted to work it out with her months ago, instead she became unreachable. I on the other hand thought they should have called authoritys upon this discovery. To me it don’t matter whom it is, you do a crime you have to face it. We can’t bend laws because someone thinks they were a good person or served their community well.

    • Rice Street Homeowner says:

      Lets not forget,
      Laura also had a good job, as many lost their jobs in this economy.
      [redacted]
      I as well, don’t care who her Family is and her “suppose good standing status” in Berryville.

      Recall the Farmers & Merchants Leesburg Bank. The embezzler “Betty” got off easy. The Bank was sold to BB&T with no liability. Thus leaving the Victims alone.
      I Trust our Justice System will send a clear strong message this time around.

      • Wonder says:

        Oh my….another person who does not read the full post! Had absolutley NOTHING to do with the Bank of Clarke

  20. Got-A-Dollar says:

    Why does this happen so many times to non-profit organizations? She’s our treasurer, she is an officer at the bank, she can be trusted. When a lot of money is involved, particularly cash two people doing checks and balances is not enough. It will happen again and we will all act surprised.
    There is only greed and “I am too smart to get caught” attitude.
    Maybe another shoe will fall before it is over.
    $240,000?

    • Wonder says:

      I agree…others are involved!

      • LongTimer says:

        Do you really think others are involved? I hope not. Downtown is drying up as it is and if people lose trust in the BOCC – OMG!!!!

        • BOCC has nothing to do with any of this. And there is NO reason to believe anyone else is involved…so why even throw such speculation around? That’s how rumors get started.

  21. Red Bully says:

    Maybe if she goes back up to the racetrack in west by god
    And asks real nice like, they might be able to side with a fellow
    Rip-off artist and she can get all the money back. Then….. Guess what?!!
    The Clarke county fair can hire a real band like the Warren county fair does.
    She can ride down main st. during berryville days and all y’all can throw
    Tobacco plugs and tastee freeze hotdogs at her…..then all can be forgotten.
    Throw the book at her. She knew what she was doing.

  22. Shocked! says:

    My jaw hit the floor when I read this article. I am shocked and dismayed to say the least. I can’t even begin to imagine what could have prompted this lady, a pillar of the community, to do such a thing. I never would have imagined such a thing coming from her. I guess desperate times call for desperate measures (?). But what could have been so wrong that you couldn’t ask your family or friends for help? So incredibly sad for all parties involved.

  23. Got-A-Dollar says:

    The Bank of Clarke needs to address to it’s customers, was this a result of access through her position at the bank or only because of her position as an officer of the Ruritan Club?

  24. Got-A-Dollar says:

    To Long Timer, the Bank of Clarke has for years been the anchor for downtown Berryville. The myth has been if there is growth around areas like the Food Lion downtown will lose out. The fact is if I must or choose to go to Winchester for my drugstore needs I will buy most everything else in Winchester. Downtown must wake up just keep it local and downtown will survive.

  25. Roscoe Evans says:

    There’s a paucity of facts among these allegations, but what intrigues me is 240 separate incidents of alleged takings, at $1000.00 or so, each. Organizations that have fiduciary duties ought to have safeguards to protect against embezzlements as a matter of course (joint signatures/separate control of checks/monthly review of bank statements/systemmatic audits by a third party, and so on). If these facts are accurate, there’s no excusing them: both the BoC and the Ruritans are negligent for not discovering this scheme with the first fraudulent check, and their insurers may be reluctant to cover these losses.

    Otherwise, I dislike the moralizing. We all are humans. We all do stupid things, and we often repeat them over and over again. “Throw the book at her?” Why? How about convicting her first, then treating her exactly like any other person has been treated who has done with same thing, with the same or similar background? I.E. follow legal precedent. That is as much the American way as stringing her up, after all.

    I’ve been involved in cleaning up the messes made by lawyers who have embezzled from clients and from banks. I’d recommend to anybody who has a compelling interest in this matter to do a little serious reading. The law of embezzlement, like the psychology of embezzlers, is unique. The fact that the Ruritans tried to recover their lost monies informally prior to seeking criminal sanctions should give a hint as to how especially intriguing these sorts of crimes really are.

    As for the Lloyds: I liked and respected them before this, and to the extent it may matter, I still do. That will not change. Good luck to them all.

    • Another View says:

      BLAME THE VICTIM! It’s the Ruritans’ fault! It’s Bank of Clarke County’s fault! Wait! No it is not.

    • Red Bully says:

      Yeah. In fact. Beat her with the book. If it was your money mr.wordsmith
      I’m almost sure your overlettered self would have a different opinion
      On the matter. Does it matter If she was a pillar of the community (and I
      Use that word loosely) she was more like a fence post. You meet the nicest people
      In prison.

  26. Domino effect says:

    Ms Lloyd needs to turn herself in!

    She stole from all of us, it was the private donations where the money is missing, not from the fair.

    Lets not leave people hanging here with a half a story. The Ruritans need to speak up and get over the fact how they feel. Its ok we get it you trusted someone, now its time to tell the truth. The community deserves the truth! Covering up for someone because of who they are or how long they lived here, is just wrong.

    [redacted]
    She needs to face what she did, apologize to this entire community and then deal with her crime.

    Just because someone served their Community does NOT give them entitlement to steal.
    The truth will set you free Ms Lloyd, TURN yourself in!

    • She hasn’t been charged, so what specifically do you want her to turn herself in for?

  27. Got-A-Dollar says:

    When a drug addict steals to support an addiction we have no problem “seeking justice”. Yet with embezzlement we allow restitution at small monthly payments for large amounts that are stolen.
    Why didn’t the Ruritans take the 100K settlement? Will the insurers pay more? If there are insurers then I suppose no one loses. Wrong!

  28. George Archibald says:

    From where was the Ruritan Club getting $1,000 a week that was allegedly taken over five years (since 2007?) by Treasurer Laura Lloyd to the tune of $240,000 total? Why was the continuing thievery never noticed? Didn’t her family and friends know that she had a lot more cash to spend than she was making at the bank? Why did the bank not know what was going on with the Ruritan account if it was there? Weren’t the bank president or executive vice president monitoring accounts to protect them against suspicious activity? A lot of questions unanswered. Why? Someone has a lot more explaining to do.

    • Do you realize how many bank accounts exist at BOCC? To expect the bank president or executive vice president to monitor such accounts is ridiculous and not even close to realistic. And technically, it is the responsibility of the account holders to monitor activity, look at their bank statements, etc and notice problems such as this. And, I’d be willing to bet a lot of the embezzlement came from cash she was supposed to deposit into the account and it never made it. How in the world do you expect BOCC to know this? And don’t forget, BOCCs name is only involved for two reasons. One, because she worked there which is completely seperate from what happened…and two, BOCC was the one who ended up notifying the Ruritan of the problem. If she were employed anywhere else, people would be praising BOCC for catching this. Since the two things are seperate, by your logic, ALL banks are to be held responsible for embezzlement everytime and INDEPENDENT person embezzles from a business or organization AND it just so happens that specific bank holds their accounts. Give me a break.

      • While I would agree that there has been ample speculation surrounding this incident, to separate the BoCC from the issue is a questionable position, after all this woman was the VP of Security. There is definitely an issue when the person responsible for setting up security measures in an institution to protect people’s accounts uses that position to circumvent the very protective measures she presumably put into place. The responsibility then flows back to the corporation for oversight of employees and procedures. No one can say what has happened but hopefully the state police will use forensic auditors to get to the bottom of it.

  29. Concerned says:

    Clearing a few things up……not sure if people are mislead by the $1000 a week comment or not, but she did not literally take a $1000 a week. As for it being private donations only that is untrue, no one area of the Ruritans funds were targeted. The Ruritans have their main account, a line of credit, and their fair account. She would go to get change for the gates at am event and get more than they needed to keep a little for herself. She would draw funds falsely off the line of credit, and she ran up credit card bills. She did it slowly and surely during a time of many changes in the Ruritans financial situations in a way that made it very confusing for anyone to track. She sat in on meetings where many of her life long friends and fellow Ruritan members were banging their heads against the walls trying to figure out why they weren’t making money after working their butts off year round. She sat at a desk at BCC acting as if she was the security guru of the bank while breeching the Ruritans security constantly. Why would the bank question someone who was the epitome of what a bank officer should be for years and years? Why would the Ruritans be suspicious of someone they watched grow up to be an account security person and an officer of the bank for years? No matter how good your security is today, there are always people out there learning methods to get around the new measures, debit card fraud is a perfect example of this. There are two victims in this situation and I am sure they have learned a HUGE lesson from this. I hope that the person in the wrong has also, but only our legal system can assure this is so, not any of us. If she has the goodness in her many believe she does, she will continue paying the Ruritans back until they have all of their money or she passes away. Please let’s all of us support the Bank of Clarke and the Ruritans during this hard time for both. They have helped many many of us through the years in different ways and deserve our support during these times. Abd, if you are a friend of Ms Lloyd and her family support them also, in a way that will assist them in getting Ms Lloyd straightened out and able to accept responsibility for what she has done. This too shall pass…..

    • jennifer says:

      sadly, the lesson learned is you can’t take for granted that you can trust anybody. this kind of thing leaves us thinking we should be watching the very people we would trust with our lives. more than the money, that, imo, is the greatest injustice done. there is no need or want that could justiy this kind of breach of trust.

  30. rollmeupandsmokemewhenidie says:

    As a life long friend of Ms Lloyd I too was shocked when the news of her alleged embezzlement broke.That being said, the only thing that separates a robber and an embezzler are their tools and methods.