Yorktown Man Receives Jail Time for Embezzling from Douglas Aquatics

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York-Poquoson Courthouse
York-Poquoson Courthouse

A Yorktown man will serve three months in jail for taking about $95,000 from a local pool company.

John Phillip Cronk, 33, was sentenced Tuesday in York-Poquoson Circuit Court to a total of 10 years in prison – five years for each of the two embezzlement charges against him – with all but three months suspended. He is also responsible for paying back the entire amount he took from Douglas Aquatics with interest.

Judge Richard Rizk is allowing Cronk, who has already paid back $20,000 to the pool company, to serve his time through a work release program so he can earn an income to continue to pay restitution.

By including jail time, Rizk went beyond sentencing guidelines set by the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission.

“You can’t create the havoc you’ve created without seeing a jail cell,” Rizk said, referencing the Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Krystyn Reid’s comments about the adverse professional, personal and emotional effects the embezzlement has had on the Douglas Aquatics owner.

Cronk worked as a retail sales manager at Douglas Aquatics in York County from 2009 until 2014, when he was fired from his position for unspecified reasons.

Shortly after his dismissal, a customer approached the company’s owner and said she had never paid full price for the products she purchased from Cronk, leading the owner to perform an audit of the company’s sales.

The owner found 15 instances in which Cronk had apparently sold products from the store at significantly discounted prices, resulting in about $95,000 in missing cash transactions.

Cronk was arrested in November 2014 and charged with 10 felony counts of embezzlement and five misdemeanor counts of embezzlement, though prosecutors eventually dropped all but two of the felony counts.

Cronk pleaded guilty to the two remaining counts in York-Poquoson Circuit Court in October, and he reappeared before the court on Thursday for sentencing.

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