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Former EDA director indicted on federal fraud charges

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A federal grand jury in Charlottesville returned an indictment last week charging the former executive director of the Economic Development Authority of the Town of Front Royal and Warren County with wire fraud, bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering.

According to an indictment returned under seal last Wednesday, Jennifer Rae McDonald, 44, of Front Royal, who was the executive director of the EDA from April 2008 until December 2018, devised and participated in a scheme to defraud the EDA to obtain money and property by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises.

McDonald, through her position as executive director at the EDA, had access to funds belonging to the EDA and, as the indictment alleges, used EDA funds to pay on debt owed by her, other individuals, and LLCs she controlled, to purchase real property for which she often earned commissions as a real estate agent, and to purchase real property in the name of an LLC she controlled.

McDonald is charged with 16 counts of money laundering, 10 counts of bank fraud, seven counts of wire fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft.

The FBI and Virginia State Police are investigating the case.