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Posted at 1:00 PM ET, 01/28/2011

1 yr. for man who embezzled $600K

By Tom Jackman
Tom Jackman

The executive director of a Fairfax County-based national association of opticians was sentenced Friday to a year in prison for his part in a scheme that authorities said stole about $1.7 million from the association.

Hugh Michael Robey, 48, of Bowie, had been the executive director of the American Board of Opticianry and the National Contact Lens Examiners, a nonprofit group on Loisdale Road in the Springfield area.


Fairfax prosecutors said he used about $600,000 of the association's funds to take trips and buy expensive items for his family and friends, but in the end he did not wind up with any cash, his lawyer, James C. Clark said.

Robey was arrested in June, and later pleaded guilty to four counts of embezzlement. While the investigation was continuing, a co-worker, Carletta Carter Stewart, 45, of Fredericksburg was arrested. Stewart was the group's chief financial officer, and the association's lawyer, James Morris, testified Friday that she is believed to have written about $1.1 million worth of checks and other association credits to herself. The total loss of $1.7 million is higher than the $1.5 million reported by Fairfax police last month.

Stewart was arrested in December and has a preliminary hearing scheduled for next month.

Robey apologized for the theft. Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Charles J. Maxfield sentenced Robey to 10 years on each of the four counts, but suspended nine years on each count, and let the one-year terms run concurrently. He also ordered Robey to pay $600,000 restitution to the opticians' association, which certifies about 38,000 ophthalmic dispensers nationally.

By Tom Jackman  | January 28, 2011; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  Fairfax, Financial Crimes, From the Courthouse, Tom Jackman, Updates  
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Comments

Only one year in jail? You gotta be kidding me.

Posted by: linroy62 | January 28, 2011 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Really one year in jail thats it for stealing $600K?

Posted by: agarnett1000 | January 28, 2011 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Wow -- you give him only 1 yr - this is outrageous, but a 51 yr old that sells $100 worth of crack gets 20 years! Wow guys, something is wrong with this picture. So he gets out of jail at 71+ with even less than he has now. But Hugh Michael Robey gets out in a year, credit still in great, has his home, family & cars - he will only need a haircut and an oilchange. I dont care about the color but lets get this more balanced folks. geez

Posted by: justhinkn | January 28, 2011 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Wow -- you give him only 1 yr - this is outrageous, but a 51 yr old that sells $100 worth of crack gets 20 years! Wow guys, something is wrong with this picture. So he gets out of jail at 71+ with even less than he has now. But Hugh Michael Robey gets out in a year, credit still in great, has his home, family & cars - he will only need a haircut and an oilchange. I dont care about the color but lets get this more balanced folks. geez

Posted by: justhinkn | January 28, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Wow -- you give him only 1 yr - this is outrageous, but a 51 yr old that sells $100 worth of crack gets 20 years! Wow guys, something is wrong with this picture. So he gets out of jail at 71+ with even less than he has now. But Hugh Michael Robey gets out in a year, credit still in great, has his home, family & cars - he will only need a haircut and an oilchange. I dont care about the color but lets get this more balanced folks. geez

Posted by: justhinkn | January 28, 2011 3:00 PM | Report abuse

1 year? It's no wonder that the general public thinks the courts, lawyers and judges are deceitful and are the problem. This isn't even a slap on the wrist. what a joke!

Posted by: bjreg3 | January 28, 2011 5:10 PM | Report abuse

1 year may or may not be enough in this case, but the harm done is not equal to the harm that drug dealers do, so I don't think that is the comparison to draw.

But one very important thing is that he has been ordered to repay the entire $600,000 back as restitution. That will undo a great deal of the damage and probably won't be easy. The court needs to see to it that he repays it all. And serving one year in prison won't be a cake walk either .... plus, the sooner this man is out and earning money to repay what he has stolen the better.

I have known of other cases where the embezzler has worked hard to repay all the money, so this may be a better outcome than it appears on the surface.

Posted by: jdVA | January 28, 2011 5:41 PM | Report abuse

"Robey apologized for the theft."

Oh, everything is okay then. Why even make him serve the one lousy year? Good grief. No wonder people embezzle.

Posted by: Nghbrhdwatch | January 28, 2011 5:53 PM | Report abuse

One year, huh? I guess crime does pay. Unless you are a small time drug user.

Posted by: clarkesq | January 28, 2011 6:30 PM | Report abuse

As far as the harm that drugs do, most of those people bring that on themselves. There is more harm done by keeping them illegal and letting organized crime and the cartels have their way. If you think I'm full of it, tell me when the last time alcohol bootleggers caused senseless deaths....uh I think it was early 1933.
As far as the embezzler, he was robbing while WHITE...what else is new. BTW, I am a conservative white Republican, but our justice system is so biased it is sick

Posted by: GregGrapsas | January 28, 2011 7:51 PM | Report abuse

As far as the harm that drugs do, most of those people bring that on themselves. There is more harm done by keeping them illegal and letting organized crime and the cartels have their way. If you think I'm full of it, tell me when the last time alcohol bootleggers caused senseless deaths....uh I think it was early 1933.
As far as the embezzler, he was robbing while WHITE...what else is new. BTW, I am a conservative white Republican, but our justice system is so biased it is sick

Posted by: GregGrapsas | January 28, 2011 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Wow $600,000 and all I have to do is a year, where do I sign up at. Free room and board for a year and I keep the money, sounds like a good deal to me. Crime does pay and it pays real good...

Posted by: Frank60 | January 28, 2011 9:22 PM | Report abuse

I would think millions of Americans would sign-up to take $600,000 in return for a year in jail; not to mention the chance of not being caught. I think the Judge's sentence only fosters more crimes of a similar nature, not deters it.

Posted by: DCnative23 | January 29, 2011 2:55 AM | Report abuse

He'll repay $600K when pigs fly. I was burglarized a few years ago; the perp was ordered to repay about $4K to me as a condition of probation (no time served BTW). No money repaid, do you think the perp served time? Nope. Just one white man hooking up another white man; if a black judge did this for a black thief, the outcry would reach to Kansas.

Posted by: gbooksdc | January 29, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Is there a connection between Mr. Robey and Judge Maxfield? Perhaps the same church?

Posted by: DCObserver1 | January 29, 2011 4:37 PM | Report abuse

the juxtaposition of this guy getting 1 year and the guy who sold crack getting 20 years is eye opening. and ridiculous

Posted by: weblurker1 | January 31, 2011 3:42 AM | Report abuse

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