Articles Posted in Embezzlement Charges

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1384588_brown_envelope_money_bribe_1.jpgOcala, Florida – A 38-year-old veteran employee of the Marion County Public School system was arrested and charged with organized fraud Wednesday. She was taken to the Marion County Jail and released about 24 hours later on a bond of $2,000.

The woman is on paid administrative leave while an investigation is conducted. She is a finance clerk in business services and has worked for the school system for 16 years.

An Ocala police officer was called to the district’s Internal Auditing Division on Oct. 5 to take a report about possible embezzlement. School system officials had apparently conducted an audit on money collected from various school collections and found that $15,758.07 was missing.

School officials told police that the woman had been “flagged” for an incident in July after an error was found related to the account she was in charge of.

Reports indicate that an audit was performed on the various collections the woman received from July 1 to Sept. 21, which allegedly revealed the amount that was missing. School officials claim the woman was given the money from collections to deposit the checks or cash. She allegedly deposited the checks, but not the cash.

The case was passed along to a detective to further investigate the claims. At the conclusion of his investigation, the woman was arrested and taken into custody. She apparently refused to speak to the detective regarding the accusations against her.

The state of Florida tends to prosecute those accused of fraud-related offenses rather harshly. Prosecutors devote a lot of time and resources to white collar crimes, like embezzlement. Typically these crimes involve complex financial transactions, and you may be under investigation without even knowing it. In fact, it could take months for the prosecution to build its case against you before making an arrest and filing charges. As soon as you know you are under investigation for embezzlement you should consult with a white collar crimes defense lawyer. Every white collar case is unique, so it is essential to the outcome of your case to make sure you are properly represented as early on as possible.

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A Collier County judge sentenced a 52-year-old woman and wife of a Collier County sheriff’s deputy to eight years in prison Friday for embezzling more than $250,000 from a former employer.

The woman was the office manager for a Naples company where she apparently wrote 211 fraudulent checks from the business’ account between 2005 and 2009.

Her husband received 31 of those checks and claims he knew nothing about what she was doing.

The State Attorney’s Office and the Collier County Sheriff’s Office economic crimes bureau joint investigation did not reveal any evidence to suggest the man had any dealings with his wife’s apparent scheme.

He has not been charged with any crime.

In addition to prison time, the woman was sentenced to 22 years’ probation. She must pay back the full $256,746 that she stole from her former boss. Currently, she has not paid back anything.

The judge claims he was forced to impose the eight-year sentence, the maximum under a January plea agreement, because the woman failed to pay back enough of what is owed to the business owner.

The judge said he may reconsider reducing her prison term if her family can pay back a good portion of what is owed within the next 60 days.

Embezzlement charges often result when there appears to be a misappropriation of funds by someone who has access to the company’s money including bookkeepers, accountants, treasurers or any other employee with the ability to write checks, make withdrawals and make payments with company funds. Many people find themselves slapped with business fraud charges because of questionable financial transactions made when in a position of trust at a business. Whether intentional or unintentional, embezzlement can occur in a variety of ways:

• Writing Fraudulent Checks to Others
• Pocketing Portions of Cash Deposits
• Fraudulent Use of a Company Credit Card
• Transferring Money from a Business Account to a Personal Account
• Appropriating Business Funds for Personal Use
Embezzlement is classified as a theft crime. Commonly referred to as “employee theft” or “employee fraud,” embezzlement charges are often pursued by the federal government. Due to the federal government’s inexhaustible resources to thoroughly investigate embezzlement accusations, early intervention by a criminal defense lawyer is essential in order to avoid a criminal conviction. Although embezzlement is classified as a theft crime, it differs from other theft offenses due to the relationship of trust that exists between an employer and an employee. Because of this, employee theft is generally prosecuted quite aggressively.

The Florida Business Fraud Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton may be able to help you avoid the penalties and prison sentences associated with embezzlement charges by crafting together a solid defense strategy. The employer does have the option of waiving prosecution if restitution is paid early in the investigation process and if other necessary steps are conducted in a timely manner. Sometimes an out of court settlement or repayment plan can be the best resolution for all parties involved. At Whittel & Melton, we are dedicated to helping those facing embezzlement accusations or charges throughout Florida.

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