David Miller Found Guilty of Embezzling Funds from Dick Saslaw’s Campaign and Other Organizations

With most political activists in Northern Virginia rightfully focused in on the upcoming elections, there was some interesting developments in the case of lobbyist David Miller. He was found guilty by a federal court of defrauding multiple organizations and political campaigns out of approximately $1.5 million.

Perhaps the saddest aspect of the entire story is how Miller had frequently spoken about his passion for making a difference in the lives of people with intellectual disabilities such as autism. He even testified before a Senate committee about the need to invest in educational opportunities for autistic students. This is an extremely worthy cause that’s actually received a lot of attention in this year’s school board races and we’re seeing progress being made as more and more people are drawing attention to the issue. Unfortunately, Miller and his wife ended up stealing $600,000 from the Community College Consortium on Autism and Intellectual Disabilities.

While it’s not as disturbing taking money taken from a worthwhile non-profit organization, Miller and his wife also embezzled $653,000 from Sen. Dick Saslaw’s campaign (for which Miller’s wife served as treasurer) and $368,000 from his employer — SkyLink Aviation.

Miller’s wife, Linda Miller, pleaded guilty to charges related to the theft of money from Saslaw’s campaign and was sentenced to 56 months in prison back in 2016. Through her role as the campaign’s treasurer, she wrote 73 checks to multiple fake law firms in order to fill her family’s bank accounts. The money eventually was used to pay their mortgage, take fancy vacations, and do some remodeling on a beach house.

For what it’s worth, I got to know David back in 2007 when he briefly was running to be Clerk of the Court in Fairfax County. I’ll admit to initially being impressed with his candidacy, but was among many people who were surprised to learn that he owed $38,000 in back taxes and there was a lien on his house (a home I had been to a few times for campaign events and to discuss his candidacy).

After these revelations were made public, I joined several other people who previously supported his campaign and called on him to drop out of the race and allow someone else to run on the Democratic ticket. While I didn’t think there would be more nefarious scandals to come and he seemed like an overall good guy, the tax scandal simply wasn’t something you wanted surrounding someone seeking a leadership position in the court system. It turns out Miller’s inability to pay taxes was just one in a long series of financial crimes his family had committed.

Back when the tax issues came out in 2007, Miller told me he didn’t know about the unpaid taxes or the lien on his house. He assured me and others that he would have settled the issue and disclosed the information if he had known about it. I was skeptical, but had no direct evidence he was being untruthful.

According to an article in the Washington Post, however, it appears as though he’s using essentially the same excuse for the newest round of charges. While he admitted to creating fake identities in order to take money from his employer and said it “was deceitful and very unethical,” he claimed to have no idea that his wife had put over $1 million of stolen money in their bank account.

Perhaps realizing nobody would buy that argument, he also suggested she deserved the money. “I think she should have earned compensation,” Miller claimed. He used a similar line of reasoning for why he shouldn’t face punishment for creating the fake identities he used to steal from SkyLink.

Hopefully the convictions of both members of the Miller family will serve as a reminder to folks that you can’t get away with unethical behavior while stealing money from organizations that the public cares about.

About Bryan J. Scrafford

Bryan Scrafford grew up in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC and stayed in the region for both college and his professional life. An avid baseball and hockey fan, Bryan's also involved with several advocacy organizations fighting for economic justice, LGBT rights, and other issues. You can follow him on twitter at @bscrafford and Instagram at @bjscrafford
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1 Response to David Miller Found Guilty of Embezzling Funds from Dick Saslaw’s Campaign and Other Organizations

  1. My red lights, bells and whistles went off the first time I met Dave Miller in the fall of 2017. My partner was taken in by him though. After he had these charges placed against him and after his wife was in jail, he set up an LLC entitled Eastern Shore Sports, LLC. The name of our LLC is Eastern Shore Sports Academy, LLC. He befriended my partner, and told him that he could help bring other sports groups to our sports facility. He met with a pickleball group in the neighboring Talbot County and invited them to come play pickleball at our facility. He collected money from them to play pickleball at our club and they paid him by check on numerous occasions. They wrote checks to Eastern Shore Sports, LLC that were intended for us and Dave Miller never paid us for the court time. When we asked him where the money was for the court time, he said that he had expenses to take these people to lunch and entice them to play at our club. We were unaware of his scam until we met with the Talbot Pickleball group and asked how they paid. They told us that they wrote checks to “us”. When asked further, they said they wrote checks to Eastern Shore Sports, LLC and the checks had cleared. Knowing that a check cannot be cashed that is made payable to a business, I started investigating and found the LLC and bank account that he had set up. He also set up an online pickleball account acting as our owner and got free pickleball equipment donated to him and he told us that he got a bargain on it and he in turn sold it to us. I see where his identity theft charges were mistrialed. He only got us for less than $1,000 but it could have been much worse and the Talbot Pickleball group said that he told them that he was an owner of our club. He also signed his daughter up for one of our tennis leagues and was offended when I sent him a bill for her membership and league fee. He thought he was entitled to her playing free tennis because he was helping us He never did pay the bill.

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