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Warrenton man charged with embezzling $3.8 million

Wednesday, Aug. 20 | By Julie Taylor
Robin Day Nicholas
A Warrenton man is charged with embezzling $3.8 million dollars over a 14-year period from a lumber company in Marshall.

Robin Day Nicholas, of Warrenton, was branch manager since 1999 at Heritage Hardwoods, the business from which he is accused of stealing, according to court documents.

Nicholas is facing a 60-count indictment as follows: 28 embezzlement counts, 15 counts of felonious false pretenses, 15 counts of money laundering, and two counts of filing false tax returns.

"It's a first. This amount of money is something I've not seen before in any jurisdiction in Virginia that I've worked," said Commonwealth's Attorney James Fisher.

Questions arose on May 31 when the President Ray Prozzillo of A&M Supply Company, which is Heritage Hardwood's parent company, conducted an inventory audit.

The count revealed a lot of missing items, and internal controls were not being followed. An audit performed a month later revealed that the missing inventory was from Coleman Products.

Fisher learned of the alleged embezzlement in early July and pulled together a task force of Virginia State Police, Fauquier Sheriff's detectives and the U.S. Secret Service to investigate.

Not only did A&M not have an IRS or form W-9 from Coleman Products, but they mailed checks to Coleman's P.O. Box in Orlean. There is no company registered under that name in Virginia.

When checks were traced to Suntrust bank, the signatures belonged to Robin Nicholas.

The last check was deposited on May 22, 2014, and brought the total to 190 separate checks stretching back to the year 2000.

Nicholas faces a bond hearing Thursday.

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