September 3, 2021

Delaney Sexton
Contributing Editor

Fraud Friday – Former EDA Executive Director Involved in Alleged Fraud Indicted with 34 Counts

Jennifer McDonald

Jennifer McDonald was the former Executive Director of the Front-Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority in Virginia. She was arrested in 2019 and accused of embezzling $21 million. Last week she was indicted and charged with 34 counts in total. Her charges include sixteen counts of money laundering, ten counts of bank fraud, seven counts of wire fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft.

She worked for the EDA from April 2008 to December 2018, and starting in 2014, she allegedly planned a scheme to defraud the EDA. As the Executive Director, McDonald had access to the EDA’s funds. Using their finances, she would pay off debts owed by her, LLCs that she was in control of, and other individuals.

Jennifer also allegedly used the money to purchase property that she would sometimes earn a commission off of as a real estate agent. In addition, it is alleged that she used funds to purchase property under her companies’ names, DaBoyz LLC and MoveOn8 LLC. Jennifer would do this by making false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises. She would create false documents and forge signatures to disguise her scheme.

She was removed as a defendant in a separate 2019 civil lawsuit by the EDA worth more than $62 million, but she is going to be held liable for $9 million. The EDA accused McDonald and other co-conspirators of fraud, conspiracy, unjust enrichment, breach of contract, and other counts. McDonald still maintains her innocence.

On Tuesday, she made her initial court appearance. She is currently released pending trial.

Source:
DOJ Press Release