CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A Chesterfield man was convicted this week on charges of conspiracy and wire fraud for embezzling funds alongside a paralegal from a local law firm, according to court documents.
According to court records, 40-year-old Joshua Brian Romano owned businesses that purchased, rehabilitated, and sold homes around the City of Richmond. He funded his businesses through construction loans that were trusted to a Chesterfield County law firm. The loans were only meant to be used by Romano to purchase or rehabilitate properties, and loans could only be used with the lender’s approval for each payment.
Romano asked Lindsey Epps Passmore, 39, a paralegal at the law firm, to pay out $1.2 million intended for Romano’s projects. However, this money was not spent on Romano’s projects, breaking the agreement with the lender.
A federal jury convicted Romano on Thursday, Oct. 21 on charges of conspiracy and wire fraud, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. He will be sentenced on Jan. 19, 2023 and faces 20 years in prison for each charge.
Passmore pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in June, according to court documents, and is scheduled for sentencing on Nov. 17.