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August 29, 2014

Ski boat and racecar seized in embezzlement case

Sheriff’s deputies Monday seized this $45,000 boat, which Robin D. Nicholas allegedly purchased with checks from a fake, Orlean-based company he set up to launder embezzled money.
Rob Nicholas allegedly used fake invoices to bilk $3.3 million from Heritage Hardwoods near Marshall, which he managed for Florida-based A&M Supply.
The commonwealth’s attorney ultimately will seek to sell this racecar and the boat to help repay Mr. Nicholas’ former employer.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Fauquier sheriff’s deputies this week seized a ski boat and a racecar from the Warrenton man charged with embezzling the greatest sum in county history.

An Oct. 27 hearing in Fauquier County Circuit Court could determine whether Robin Day Nicholas, 50, loses ownership of the car and boat, seized as the alleged fruits of money laundering.

Mr. Nicholas allegedly embezzled $3.3 million over almost 14 years from Heritage Hardwoods in Marshall and allegedly used several checking accounts to launder the money. A special grand jury indicted him Aug. 13.

The defendant left jail Thursday, Aug. 21, after Judge Herman A. Whisenant Jr. set bond at $500,000.

Despite his middle management salary, Mr. Nicholas led “a lavish lifestyle” and “a double life,” Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher said during the bond hearing.

To support the allegation, Mr. Fisher introduced photos of the defendant’s “quarter-million-dollar RV” and racecar, along with credit card statements.

Sheriff’s deputies Monday seized a 2010 Centurion 23-foot fiberglass boat and a tandem-axle aluminum trailer from a storage yard near Lake Anna in Spotsylvania County.

Mr. Nicholas in late 2012 wrote two SunTrust checks totaling $45,000 from The Day Corp., trading as Coleman Products, to buy the boat from MasterCraft Boats in Kingsport, Tenn., according to court documents.

The prosecution alleges that Mr. Nicholas established the dummy corporation, with an Orlean post office box, for the embezzlement and money-laundering scheme.

The court records also include a seizure warrant for a silver Van Demien RF01 racecar in a garage on 11 acres with Mr. Nicholas’ home at 9139 Hyde Lane north of Warrenton. Sheriff’s deputies seized the car Friday afternoon.

“We’re going try to freeze those assets so they can’t be converted (sold) for other use,” Mr. Fisher explained.

His office’s effort to take ownership of the boat and racecar will proceed in the form of a lawsuit that runs parallel to the criminal case, the prosecutor explained.

Mr. Nicholas enjoyed success driving open-wheel racers on the Sports Car Club of America circuit at Watkins Glen, N.Y., and on other tracks.

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