Attorney indicted on embezzlement charge

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – A Ponte Vedra Beach attorney has been indicted on embezzlement charges, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday.

William Reid Penuel, 37, is accused of embezzling from a bankruptcy estate and making a false statement.
If convicted, Penuel faces up to five years in federal prison on each count. He was arraigned in federal court Tuesday and was released on a $50,000 bond.      

According to the indictment, between March 2015 and July 2015, Penuel, while serving as the Chapter 7 Trustee in a business bankruptcy case, embezzled estate funds held in a BB&T bank account. The indictment further alleges that, on Aug. 19, 2015, Penuel lied to an FBI agent when he claimed that he had transferred the estate funds to his account at Ameris Bank. In fact, Penuel did not have an account at Ameris Bank.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of one or more federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.