Lawyer charged with stealing $1,600 from wallet that was dropped in Wake courthouse

Steven MacGilvray
Steven MacGilvray CCBI

Wake County sheriff’s deputies have accused a lawyer of swiping a wallet filled with cash after it was mistakenly dropped at the security entrance of the old Wake County Courthouse.

Investigators apparently did not have to look very far to determine what happened after the alleged victim reported that his wallet was missing Monday. Security guards who work at the courthouse entrance say the alleged theft was caught on cameras installed throughout the building.

Lawyer Steven Patrick MacGilvray, 29, has been charged with one felony count of larceny, according to an arrest warrant filed at the Wake County Clerk of Courts Office.

Deputies think MacGilvray, of 820 Handsworth Lane in Raleigh, “feloniously did steal, take and carry away $1,600 in cash, the personal property of Robert McKenley Jeffreys,” according to the arrest warrant.

MacGilvray was taken into custody at the courthouse by Wake Deputy D.A. Taylor shortly after the theft was reported, according to records at the City County Bureau of Identification.

The sheriff’s office declined to comment Tuesday, but security guards working at the Salisbury Street entrance of the courthouse said Jeffreys dropped his wallet while visiting the courthouse with his daughter to pay a research fee.

The security officers said MacGilvray was standing behind Jeffreys when he dropped his wallet at the security checkpoint. Instead of telling Jeffreys he dropped the wallet, MacGilvray reportedly picked it up and stuck it in his pocket.

The security guards said cameras installed in an elevator captured MacGilvray later opening the wallet and, after noting that it was full of cash, putting it back into his pocket.

The security guards think MacGilvray went into a nearby restroom, where he then emptied the cash from the wallet and put the currency into his pocket.

MacGilvray then allegedly went to the Fayetteville Street entrance of the courthouse and gave the empty wallet to a sheriff’s deputy, under the guise of being a good Samaritan returning a lost item, the security guards reported.

The guards said Jeffreys was able to tell sheriff’s deputies the exact amount of cash that was in the wallet and the precise number of denominations.

MacGilvray was licensed to practice law in North Carolina on Aug. 28, 2013, according to the North Carolina State Bar. He was an associate attorney at Coolidge Law Firm in Raleigh, which handles DWI arrests, criminal charges and traffic offenses.

By Tuesday afternoon, MacGilvray’s page had been taken down but his photo was still on the homepage for the firm. Coolidge officials could not be reached for comment.

According to a Linkedin page with his resume and photograph on it, MacGilvray joined the Coolidge firm as an attorney in August 2017. He lists his former experience as an assistant district attorney with the Pitt County District Attorney’s Office in Greenville.

MacGilvray’s resume on his LinkedIn page stated that he is a 2013 Graduate of Regent University School of Law in Virginia Beach, Va. Prior to law school, he received his bachelor’s in communication at East Carolina University. He is a graduate of J.H. Rose High School in Greenville.

A post on his LinkedIn page states: “Steven’s experience as a former prosecutor has greatly enhanced his ability to assist clients in navigating through the legal process, particularly in resolving a wide variety of misdemeanor and felony criminal cases and traffic-related matters. Additionally, he is dedicated to providing stellar legal services to clients facing a wide array of civil disputes and contract and business law issues.

“Steven is admitted to practice in all North Carolina State Courts as well as the Federal District Court in the Eastern District of North Carolina and United States Immigration Courts.”

The accused attorney’s resume also states that he worked as chief legal counsel with the Raleigh Jaycees and as a volunteer lawyer and mentor with Wake County’s Teen Court.

MacGilvray spent a night in jail and was released Tuesday just after 1:45 p.m., when he posted a $3,000 bond, a Wake sheriff’s spokesman reported.

Thomasi McDonald: 919-829-4533, @thomcdonald