A former executive of a small local bank is facing criminal charges on allegations that he embezzled nearly $100,000 during his tenure as the institution’s chief financial officer.
James Bryant Neville Jr., who served as CFO of Bank of McKenney until 2013, was indicted last month on two counts of felony embezzlement for allegedly siphoning funds from the bank over a nearly four-year period.
A grand jury issued the indictment in the criminal division of the Dinwiddie County Circuit Court on April 21, court records show. Neville, 52, was then arrested on April 24 and paid a $1,000 bail the same day. His bond prevents him from leaving the state until his case is closed.
The case is being handled by Dinwiddie County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ann Cabell Baskervill. She said that Neville allegedly embezzled $97,106 from the bank between August 2009 and July 2013. She said her office will show evidence that Neville carried out the theft primarily through credit cards of the company.
Bank of McKenney disclosed details of the matter in a brief press release on May 8. It said the bank discovered the alleged embezzlement through its own internal processes and that the money taken has been repaid.
“All funds taken, including the cost by outside firms to determine the scope, have been paid in full. The incident was reported to federal and state authorities as required by law,” the bank said in the release. “No customer account was ever affected and at no time was the Bank’s safety and soundness ever compromised.”
Bank of McKenney President and CEO Richard Liles would not comment beyond the company’s press release.
Baskervill said documents collected in the case show that Neville repaid $205,809 to the bank in late 2013. That included the $97,000 plus $108,703 that it cost the bank to investigate the situation.
Neville, who according to court records lives in Dewitt, Virginia, could not be reached for comment. According to a book he published in 2012 about his life as a quadriplegic, Neville went to work for Bank of McKenney in 1989, eventually rising to CFO.
He’s a lifelong resident of the Dinwiddie County area, a graduate of Dinwiddie County High School and John Tyler Community College.
Neville is represented in his criminal case by Richmond attorney Charles Cosby Jr. A message left for Cosby was not returned by press time.
Baskervill said the bank turned the case over to the Virginia State Police. It was led by Special Agent Julia Gunderson.
Baskervill, who took office last year, said there was previously some discussion about whether or not to charge Neville, but she decided to pursue the case.
“There’s no reason not to prosecute,” she said. “The evidence is pretty clear.”
Baskervill said there were two factors that led to the pursuit of charges.
First was that state police had some information that Neville may have been seeking to apply for other banking-related work.
Secondly, Baskervill said that white-collar crime deserves the same attention as any criminal activity.
“It is not fair to society that embezzlers don’t get prosecuted,” she said. “You don’t get a free pass because you did it in preppy clothes.”
Baskervill said she did take into account the fact that Neville has repaid the bank.
“But I didn’t think it was appropriate to consider in determining whether or not he is charged, or whether he committed a crime,” she said.
Neville’s payments back to the bank may help him if the case reaches sentencing, Baskervill said.
Neville’s case is set for a bench trial on July 24 in Dinwiddie County.
Each of the two embezzlement felonies he faces carries a punishment range of 1 to 20 years in prison.
Bank of McKenney, meanwhile, has remained one of the more stable community banks in the Richmond market in recent years.
It was one of the few local banks to remain profitable throughout the recession. As of Dec. 31, the bank had $216 million in total assets and reported an annual profit of $1.87 million in 2014.
The bank has seven branches around the Southside in Petersburg, Colonial Heights, Chester, Prince George, McKenney and Dinwiddie.