THE FEDERAL INSURANCE CO. v. SMITH
erty right," and therefore not subject to the law of conversion, relying upon United Leasing Corp. v. Thrift Ins. Corp., 247 Va. 299, 440 S.E.2d 902 (1994). In Thrift, a corporate officer of defendant Thrift Insurance forged documents that secured his personal loan. The forged documents purportedly were a guaranty of his parents to secure their son’s loan by pledging a number of shares of stock they held in Thrift Insurance. When the officer defaulted, plaintiff United Leasing demanded that Thrift turn the shares of stock over to it. The Court held that United Leasing never had a right to the shares, but had only an "undocumented intangible property right" that did not give rise to a common law cause of action for conversion. Id. at 304-06.
Susan Smith’s argument fails because unlike the plaintiff in Thrift, FIC had a right to the funds at the moment of embezzlement. Myron Smith fraudulently obtained checks from AFBA. He never had a right to the checks or the funds they represented, and AFBA remained the rightful owner of those funds. Thus, FIC’s claim is not to an undocu- mented intangible property right, but to a clearly established property right.
The trial court also considered an alternative unjust enrichment the- ory under which FIC could recover from Susan Smith, determining that FIC was entitled to a smaller portion of embezzled funds, $96,687.72,* on this theory. We will not consider the alternative the- ory of unjust enrichment because the case is resolved in FIC’s favor on the conversion claims.
III. In conclusion, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.
*The unjust enrichment claim was based on a starting amount of $150,000, representing the funds Myron Smith obtained through one of the two fraudulent schemes. The remaining $150,000 would have been challenged on statute of limitations grounds. The trial court then calcu- lated the portion of $150,000 that directly and unjustly enriched Susan Smith in order to arrive at the $96,687.72 figure.