A Giles County grand jury has indicted a former Virginia state legislator with four counts of embezzlement from his former employer, the county historical society.
Joseph Ryan Yost represented the 12th District in the House of Delegates as a Republican from 2012 to 2018.
Yost lost reelection in the 2017 House of Delegates elections to Democrat Chris Hurst. Hurst served two terms before losing reelection to Republican Jason Ballard in November.
According to a search warrant, the Giles County Historical Society’s board of directors first noticed that funds were missing. After doing some digging, board members learned that someone had begun withdrawing funds with an unauthorized debit card.
The board’s policy was to withdraw money only using checks signed by two board members.
Yost, 35, was charged yesterday. His first court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 2.
Roanoke’s WFXR has more:
Yost was taken into custody on Wednesday.
Virginia State Police is handling the investigation.
Yost was unseated in the 12th District by Chris Hurst in 2017. The 12th District includes Giles County as well as parts of Montgomery and Pulaski counties.
Josh Elrod, commonwealth’s attorney for Buena Vista, will be the special prosecutor in the case.
The Roanoke Times adds:
Yost, of Pearisburg, served as the part-time executive director of the Giles County Historical Society beginning in 2014. The society lost its nonprofit status under his watch due to not filing required forms for several years, then regained it in 2018 when he caught up on the paperwork.
Yost has not responded to The Roanoke Times’ multiple requests for comment.