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ABC Internal Investigation Leads to Guilty Plea - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

ABC Internal Investigation Leads to Guilty Plea

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Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Press Release

RICHMOND – A former Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) employee charged with embezzling more than $238,000 has pled guilty following an internal investigation.

A routine review by ABC financial staff uncovered the fraud in May 2013. The finding launched an immediate and extensive internal criminal investigation conducted by ABC’s Bureau of Law Enforcement.

Steven Hammond, Jr., 29, of Richmond pled guilty yesterday to the Hon. John A. Gibney for one count of violating “Theft from a Program Receiving Federal Funds,” a federal embezzlement charge. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and will be sentenced on Jan. 14, 2015.

Hammond was immediately placed on pre-disciplinary leave in May 2013 when the agency detected the fraud, and was subsequently terminated.

ABC consulted with the Office of the Attorney General and requested the assistance of the Virginia State Police Criminal Investigation Division (CID) during this investigation. Because some of the funds embezzled involved federal grants, the Attorney General’s office requested the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The agency has taken a comprehensive review of its financial controls and additional measures have been put in place to help prevent such an incident from occurring in the future.

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