An attorney and former police officer was found guilty Friday in Alexandria federal court of defrauding his former employer, an autism education organization and the campaign of a Virginia Democratic political leader.

David Miller, 70, conspired with his wife to embezzle more than $1.5 million by creating fake law firms that siphoned funds from then-Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax), SkyLink Aviation, and the Community College Consortium on Autism and Intellectual Disabilities. Linda Wallis Miller, who had served as Saslaw’s campaign treasurer, pleaded guilty to the three fraud schemes in 2015 and was sentenced to 56 months in prison. David Miller faces up to 20 years in prison on each of the 10 counts of conviction when he is sentenced Jan. 24.

“They were partners in crime,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Uzo Asonye said at sentencing. “The Millers worked together . . . to line their own pockets.”

AD
AD

A mistrial was declared on two counts of aggravated identity theft.

David Miller insisted at trial he had “no idea” his wife was taking funds from Saslaw or the autism group. He admitted that as the company’s general counsel he deceived SkyLink by creating “fake personalities” that he pretended were lawyers outside the company. But he argued that he earned the extra money he paid himself by doing additional work.

“It was deceitful and very unethical,” he testified, but “I felt that the work that I was doing was outside the scope of my job . . . the end justified the means.”

He claimed he had helped save SkyLink millions and brought in enough funding for the autism education organization to balance out whatever his wife took.

AD

“I think she should have earned compensation,” he said. Defense attorney Drew Hutcheson described Miller in an opening statement as “entrepreneurial.”

AD

Witnesses disputed that perspective, saying they would never have approved the $600,000 Linda Miller took from the autism consortium or the $368,000 David Miller took from SkyLink.

From Saslaw, they took about $653,000.

“He was already paid very handsomely,” prosecutor Samantha Bateman said of Miller.

The couple used the funds from the fraud to take three vacations on private jets, pay the $8,500 monthly mortgage payment on their home in Fairfax and renovate their $1 million beach house in Maryland.

AD

Miller was fired in May 2014 when SkyLink became aware of his misconduct; his wife was fired from the Saslaw campaign four months later. He professed to have no involvement in his family finances and was thus unaware of the money his wife was stealing, although some of the funds went to his sister, his personal lawyer and his child support payments.

AD

“I thought we had a lot of money in the bank,” he testified.

Miller testified that his wife was under a lot of pressure because she was “saddled dealing” with their three children. Two of the children are severely autistic, he said.

Prosecutors noted that on the night the FBI came to Miller’s home to interview his wife about stealing from the Saslaw campaign, David Miller sent out a fundraising appeal on behalf of the autism group to more than a dozen community college presidents, asking for more money.

AD