A Newport News police officer has pled guilty to a charge of felony embezzlement. The officer, Thomas D. Crouch, was accused of taking more than $5,400 from a Police Emerald Society of Tidewater account.
According to a summary of evidence submitted to the court, the account was used to hold fund-raising money. Crouch was the president of the society up until June of ’08. He admitted to taking the money, explaining that he was experiencing financial difficulties.
While Crouch has pled guilty, his sentencing hearing has been delayed for two years. Until the hearing Crouch must remain on good behavior, must not work in law enforcement, and must not attempt to obtain any law enforcement certifications.
If Crouch abides by the conditions of his plea agreement then the circuit judge will vacate the guilty finding on the felony charge. Instead, Crouch will be convicted of a misdemeanor which will come with a one-year suspended jail sentence.
However if Crouch does not abide by the conditions of his plea agreement, he will retain the felony conviction and will be sentenced by a judge.