A Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority civil lawsuit alleges that ex-director Jennifer McDonald and Sheriff Daniel McEathron purchased nearly $3 million in property using the authority’s money.
This portion of the lawsuit – which has nine defendants – centers around property purchased beginning in 2016 by DaBoyz LLC and MoveOn8 LLC, which a case filing states are owned and operated by McDonald and McEathron.
McEathron, who announced on March 19 that he would retire in May before his term ends, stated in a news release last week that he was shocked by the allegations and that “I have done nothing illegal, either personally or professionally.”
“Those that know me know who I am and what I stand for and that I would never do anything to compromise my position,” he stated in the release.
McEathron’s 2019 financial disclosure form states that he has $50,000 or less invested in any properties owned with McDonald.
The land mentioned in the lawsuit filing includes lots at 1321 Happy Creek Road in Front Royal; 2951 Rileyville Road in Page County; and parcels off Buck Mountain Road in Warren County.
The filing states that McEathron and McDonald, through DaBoyz LLC, purchased a roughly 41-acre lot at 1321 Happy Creek Road when McDonald wired $1,007,672 from an EDA account to the land's owners.
“McDonald, in conjunction with limited liability companies she owned and/or controlled either on her own” or with McEathron “unlawfully diverted money from” the EDA “using bank credit facilities restricted for town and county use for her personal benefit," according to the filing.
The filing adds that McDonald “doctored” and “created false documents" and then made or ordered that false entries be made in the EDA’s books “to conceal the diverted monies.”
The filing states that McDonald authorized another $554,427 wire transfer from an EDA credit line with First Bank & Trust to the sellers of the 100-acre Rileyville Road Property.
In September 2016, the filing states that $2 million was wired from an EDA account to TLC Settlements LLC. According to the state corporation commission's website, Christina Grady is the registered agent of TLC Settlements, which is based out of 413G South St.
The filing states that $2 million was then paid to McDonald “and/or” DaBoyz LLC, which that same month purchased parcels of land off Buck Mountain Road for about $1.9 million from William T. Vaught Jr. and Rappahawn Inc.
According to Warren County land records, both of those parcels were then sold back to Vaught and Rappahawn Inc. for less money than than the purchase price paid by DaBoyz LLC.
Land records show that on September 20, DaBoyz LLC purchased about 70 acres at 2890 Buck Mountain Road from William T. Vaught Jr. for $1 million. The contract for that deal states the land’s assessed value at the time was $793,100. On Oct. 28, 2016, DaBoyz LLC sold that property back to Vaught for $650,000.
Land records show that DaBoyz LLC also purchased a neighboring parcel of about 70 acres for $900,000 from the construction company Rappahawn Inc., which is registered to Stuart R. Vaught, according to the state corporation commission’s website. In October, DaBoyz LLC sold that property back to Rappawan Inc. for $650,000.
According to land records, the Page County property has been transferred from MoveOn8 LLC to McDonald's name. Another three acres off Pine Hills Road in Front Royal was also transferred from MoveOn8 LLC to her name, according to land records. MoveOn8 LLC remains the owner of 1321 Happy Creek Road.