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THE FEDERAL INSURANCE CO. v. SMITH

7

checks to her creditors. Furthermore, physical handling of converted property is not essential for liability for conversion, i.e. Michie’s Jurisprudence, Trover and Conversion, § 4 at 27, citing Wholesale Coal Co. v. Price Hill Colliery Co., 98 W.Va. 438, 128 S.E.2d (1925).

In this case, Susan Smith gave no consideration for the funds that were used to enrich her financial position by paying off her debts, and FIC’s rights to the funds continued through the time the funds were used to pay those debts, at which point Susan Smith’s creditors gave valuable consideration for the funds, effectively by canceling her debt. Looney v. Belcher, 169 Va. 160, 166-68, 192 S.E. 891 (Va. 1937) (forbearance of debt constitutes valuable consideration as one party is abandoning a legal right). When the debt was paid, the value of her estate, over which she had control, was increased in the amount of the payment. Thus, the funds were traced into her estate, and the fact that the funds were in the form of credit at this stage and no lon- ger cash is of no matter. See Bader v. Central Fid. Bank, 245 Va. 286, 427 S.E.2d 184 (Va. 1993). We therefore hold that the facts and cir- cumstances are sufficient to support the trial judge’s determination that Susan Smith exercised dominion and control over the $57,261.52, and that she is liable to FIC for the conversion.

Myron Smith also issued, in a separate category of transactions identified by the trial judge, a check for $137,000 on the USAA account that was deposited into Susan Smith’s and his joint NWFCU account and subsequently used to pay off various loans, bills, and other obligations of Susan Smith. We will apply the same analysis for this transaction as for the above $57,261.52 category. FIC presented evidence showing that $111,687.72 of these funds were used to pay Susan and Myron Smiths’ joint obligations and expenses. We like- wise hold that the facts and circumstances are sufficient to support the trial judge’s determination that Susan Smith is liable for conversion of $111,687.72 of these funds.

In total, Susan Smith is liable to FIC for $229,449.24 of the funds stolen by Myron Smith from the AFBA.

C. Property Subject to Conversion

Finally, Susan Smith urges this court to hold that the embezzled funds, used for her benefit, were an "undocumented intangible prop-

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