Moyler indicted by feds

Published 8:45 am Friday, December 4, 2009

NORFOLK — Former Franklin attorney James Edward “Ed” Moyler Jr., who already has pleaded guilty to state embezzlement charges, was indicted by a federal grand jury today on two counts of false declarations in a bankruptcy case and one count of making a false oath in a bankruptcy proceeding.

According to the indictment, Moyler, 79, who now lives in Williamsburg, filed a false petition and also a false amended schedule with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The indictment charges that Moyler made the false statements in October 2008 and in January 2009 when he failed to list more than $3.9 million in liabilities he owed the estate of Franklin resident Lucille K. Steinhardt. According to the indictment, Moyler was executor of the estate and loaned approximately $3,954,600 to himself from 2001 through 2005. The indictment further charges that Moyler made a false statement under oath when asked by the bankruptcy trustee whether he listed all debts and assets and he falsely responded he did.

Moyler is scheduled to make an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Norfolk next Wednesday.

He did not return phone calls seeking comment Thursday.

The case was investigated by the Virginia State Police with assistance from the Office of the United States Trustee, Norfolk office. Supervisory Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. Seidel Jr. is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

Criminal indictments are only charges and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Moyler last month pleaded guilty to six counts of embezzlement in Southampton County Circuit Court.

He accepted a plea agreement from prosecutors and entered Alford pleas to six charges that he embezzled millions from the estate of Mrs. Steinhardt. Three additional embezzlement charges in the Steinhardt case were dropped.

Under an Alford plea, the defendant does not admit wrongdoing and asserts innocence but admits that sufficient evidence exists where the prosecution could convince a judge or jury to find the defendant guilty.

Judge John C. Morrison Jr. accepted the plea agreement and promptly found Moyler guilty. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Jan. 7.