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Man sentenced to 8 years in prison for embezzlement

On Sept. 21, the former manager and winemaker at a California winery was sentenced to eight years in prison. He pleaded guilty to grand theft by embezzlement and filing false tax return charges on Aug. 8.

Following an investigation, the Santa Barbara Police Department and several other agencies determined that the man embezzled money from his employer between 2006 and 2013 while he was acting as the winery's manager. He reportedly accomplished this by depositing checks into another account instead of depositing them into the official winery bank account. During this time, the man also attempted to cover up the embezzlement by filing false tax returns.

Parole terms should be taken care of

Being placed on parole is something that many people see as a positive event. Instead of being stuck in prison, you are able to get out and learn how to live in society again. This gives you a chance to prove that you aren't going to go right back to your former criminal life.

When you are on parole, you have to follow specific rules. These terms aren't suggestions that you can comply with if you want to. They are hard and fast rules that can lead to your facing a parole violation if you don't comply with them.

Husband and wife sentenced after being convicted of tax fraud

On Sept. 18, a 59-year-old California man who claimed he was a psychic was sentenced to six years in federal prison after he was convicted of filing fraudulent tax returns. His 51-year-old wife was also sentenced to two years in federal prison for tax fraud.

The two were convicted on multiple counts of tax fraud in April after they were accused of passing bogus checks and bonds. They had allegedly participated in what was being called a "redemption" scheme, where those attempting to avoid paying their taxes use fraudulent financial documents to collect a refund. As a result, the IRS issued a refund of more than $480,000 to the couple. After the funds were deposited into their bank account, the husband and wife attempted to conceal the money by withdrawing cash and opening a new bank account.

Former superintendent charged with embezzlement

On Aug. 31, it was reported that a 57-year-old former superintendent for a California high school was scheduled to be arraigned on multiple felony charges. The man was accused of manipulating the school board to increase the amount he received in pay and benefits.

The Los Angeles District Attorney's office said that, in 2013, the former superintendent's retirement plan totaled $500,000 more than the district's next highest-paid worker. Even so, the violations were reportedly not recovered until the office received a copy of an article in February 2014 that reported the excessive salary that the former superintended was receiving. It was alleged that the man was able to get away with the alleged violations by overwhelming the board with potential revisions of more than 3,000 board bylaws and regulations.

Understanding the bail and bond system for criminal cases

A criminal case is difficult to deal with because there are so many unknowns. One thing that matters greatly to people who are facing criminal charges is getting out of jail until their court case.

Many defendants are able to get out of jail by posting bail. This is a monetary amount set by the court as an assurance that the person will return for future hearings and proceedings. Here are some points to know about bail.

Federal agent admits to money laundering

A 35-year-old former agent with the U.S. Secret Service who had investigated online criminal activity has accepted responsibility for his own crimes. Appearing in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, he entered a guilty plea on money laundering charges. His charges arose from a theft of 1,600 bitcoins. At the time that he diverted the digital currency from a government account to a digital wallet that only he could access, the bitcoins had an approximate value of $359,005.

Investigators have tracked down and recovered about 600 of the stolen bitcoins. The former agent agreed within his plea deal to return the outstanding bitcoin balance. This criminal case adds to his previous conviction in 2015 when he pleaded guilty to money laundering and obstruction of justice. At that time, investigators found that he had diverted $800,000 in digital currency. That conviction produced a sentence for 71 months in prison.

School district chef accused of embezzlement

A 55-year-old man who has earned a multitude of awards and praise for working to make California students' meals healthier was accused of taking $65,000 from the Los Angeles Unified School District and putting it into his own private consulting firm. He appeared in court on Aug. 8 and pleaded not guilty to a total of 15 felony counts that included misappropriation of funds and embezzlement.

The court documents accused the man of misappropriating the funds between 2010 and 2014. The amounts allegedly ranged from $5,000 to $15,000. He was also accused of forging an application to become a vendor for the district but did not disclose that he had outside financial interests. He posted $220,000 bail and was scheduled to return to court in October. He faces a maximum 13 years in prison if he is convicted.

Are penalties for hacking serious?

Hacking is a computer crime that is against federal law. The Department of Justice has many different statutes that address this and other computer-related crimes. The specific statutes about hacking are in 18 U.S. Code Section 1030, which covers information about computer fraud and all related acts.

Every state also has its own computer crime laws that could apply to your case if you're accused of hacking. Many of these laws specifically prohibit individuals from illegally accessing another person's or entity's information without permission. When you hack into a computer to gain information, you're breaking the law.

Former employee sentenced after embezzling $1 million

On July 25, the former director of a California-based physical fitness firm was sentenced to more than seven years after she was convicted on embezzlement charges. She had been accused of embezzling an estimated $1 million for her gambling habit and for other personal expenses.

The 60-year-old woman had been employed by the company for nine years. She was taken into custody in October 2016 and was charged with 50 offenses related to theft, fraudulent appropriation and forgery. In March, she pleaded guilty to three counts of forgery, one count of grand theft and one count of failing to report the stolen money on her tax returns. Authorities believed that she took about $10,000 each month from petty cash funds. The company reportedly only suspected her of embezzlement after she was let go.

Man convicted of diverting church funds for personal use

On June 30, it was reported that a California man who was the former CFO of Alameda-Contra Costa Transit was convicted on seven charges associated with embezzlement, tax evasion and money laundering. The man was charged in 2014 after he was allegedly stole more than $500,000 from an Oakland-based church.

It appeared that the man had diverted funds to his personal company from three nonprofits that were run by the church. He was accused of diverting funds and using them to pay for personal expenses, such as a luxury car, a mortgage and golf club memberships. The nonprofits were formed with the purpose of providing housing and other services for Oakland community residents with low or moderate incomes.

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