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Sister of TV personality sentenced for embezzlement

On Sept. 19, the sister of reality TV star Jesse James was sentenced to three years in federal prison for embezzling approximately $336,000 from her former California employer. She was also ordered to pay $368,152 in restitution.

In February, a jury convicted the defendant on three counts of wire fraud for embezzling funds from Callan Western Sales Co. She worked as a secretary and office manager at the independent sales firm from March 2000 until August 2007. As a result of the embezzlement, the business was forced to shut down.

As the beginning of the hearing, the judge indicated he was open to reducing the defendant's sentence to two years in prison because she is raising children. However, he sentenced her to 37 months after hearing testimony from the victims, who said they had been pursuing justice for nine years and didn't want the defendant to con anyone else. The defendant said she had spent her seven months in custody taking self-improvement classes and Bible studies. She expressed "deep regret" for her actions and wished healing to the victims.

Individuals convicted of embezzlement or other forms of misappropriating funds can face severe penalties, including lengthy prison terms and steep fines. As a result, those who are facing these types of charges may want to meet with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. If the evidence in a case is weak, an attorney could successfully dispute the prosecution's version of events and get the charges dismissed. In stronger cases, an attorney may recommend negotiating for a plea deal that reduces charges and penalties in exchange for a guilty plea.

Source: Los Alamitos Patch, "Los Alamitos Embezzlement Lands Sister of Jesse James in Federal Prizon," Sept. 19, 2016

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