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California CEO pleads guilty to pension fund embezzlement

A 65-year-old California man who was the chief executive officer of a Sacramento-based real estate investment firm has admitted to embezzling $1,243,154 from his workers' pension plan. The man entered his guilty plea on Aug. 1. He faces a prison sentence of up to five years and a fine of up to $250,000 when he is sentenced in January. The case was investigated by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California and the U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration.

According to media reports, the man's firm was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and handled transactions for institutional investors and public pension funds as well as individuals. The firm sponsored several retirement plans for its employees under the provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, and one of them was a traditional pension plan over which the man was the only trustee.

Poker star faces embezzlement charges

A man accused of embezzling money from a California company was indicted on July 11 by a federal grand jury. The man, Dennis Blieden, has become well-known in the poker field for his quick climb from unknown to superstar, but according to court papers, he may have used stolen money to help fund his rise.

Blieden allegedly forged the signature of an executive at the company where he worked, StyleHaul, on a fake lease for a condominium in Mexico. He then transferred funds for his own use by claiming expenses on the condo from employees and company clients. Furthermore, he created fake wire transfer letters that appeared to be client payments. The press release from the Department of Justice says that he purchased cryptocurrency with the money he had embezzled and used it for online gambling. He reportedly wrote more than $1 million in personal checks to some other poker competitors, moved over $8 million into cryptocurrency accounts and paid more than $1 million in credit card bills with embezzled funds.

Federal criminal charges have time limits

Many people don't realize that there are specific time limits regarding federal criminal charges. The statute of limitations addresses the maximum amount of time that can elapse between the crime itself and the date on which the case against the defendant can be filed. Case don't have to be finished within this time period; they only have to be started during it.

The purpose of the statute of limitations is to ensure that a person who is accused of a crime doesn't have to devise a defense that might be challenging due to the length of time that passed since the crime. Evidence can be lost, witnesses can die, disappear or no longer clearly remember the event in question.

Man accused of embezzling $22 million from social media firm

Federal prosecutors say that a 29-year-old man embezzled more than $22 million from a California marketing firm to enter poker tournaments, invest in cryptocurrencies, and pay his credit card bills. The man was taken into custody in Las Vegas on July 10 according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California. He has been charged with 14 counts of wire fraud, forfeiture, and aggravated identity theft and could be sentenced to more than 200 years in a federal prison if convicted on all counts.

The man was hired by the marketing company, which represents several social media influencers, in October 2015. Prosecutors say that he took advantage of the control he had over the firm's bank accounts to transfer funds to his personal account until he was fired in March 2019. The company ceased operations in the United States in March but continues to do business in the United Kingdom according to media reports.

Members of Hells Angels facing drug charges

Federal authorities say that the Modesto Hells Angels president and two others were taken into custody on multiple drug charges. Another person faces charges, but police are not sure where he is. Specifically, they were charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine as well as conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. According to authorities, the president's wife delivered drugs to various people in Ceres while a prospect was tasked with finding drugs and delivering them to the club president.

According to police, the prospect was once found to be in possession of 499 grams of methamphetamine. The president's wife was once found to be in possession of methamphetamine during a traffic stop. At the time, the woman was on her way to Redding to deliver the drugs to a customer on orders given by her husband. As part of the investigation that led to the charges, police conducted a raid on the Hells Angels clubhouse in Modesto.

Many forms of healthcare insurance fraud are federal crimes

Fraud is one of the most common white collar crimes. Professionals who engage in fraud often think of it as a victimless crime. They may assume that insurance will cover any losses or that they are stealing from a corporation, not from people.

The federal government is quick to disabuse people of those misconceptions when it discovers cases of health care fraud. After all, taxpayers are often the ones left covering the bill when providers defraud health care insurance programs.

Former California attorney pleads guilty to wire fraud

A former California attorney who was disbarred in 2017 and is accused of defrauding his clients out of more than $4 million has entered into a plea agreement. The 36-year-old former litigator pleaded guilty to a single count of felony wire fraud in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on June 6 and is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 12. He faces a maximum prison term of 20 years.

The man admitted to using various deceptive means to convince his clients that he had secured favorable resolutions to their legal problems. Federal prosecutors say that he went as far as providing falsified legal documents, forging checks and disguising his voice during phone calls to keep the scheme going. He is said to have forged a judge's signature on one of the documents. Prosecutors believe the man's illegal activities began in May 2012 and ended with his December 2017 disbarment.

Credit union manager admits to embezzling $40 million

A former CBS Employees Federal Credit Union manager has admitted that he embezzled more than $40 million from his employer over two decades. The 62-year-old man entered his guilty plea to embezzlement charges on May 20 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. He faces the prospect of being sent to prison for up to 30 years when he is sentenced on Sept. 16. He has been held in federal custody since March because U.S. attorneys believe that he is a flight risk and poses an economic threat to the community.

According to court documents, the man stole the money by forging the signatures of credit union members on checks made out to himself or by transferring credit union funds into his personal bank account on the internet. He then falsified credit union records to conceal his activities and make the institution appear profitable. Prosecutors say his embezzlement was the primary reason the National Credit Union Administration determined the Studio City-based institution to be insolvent and ordered its liquidation.

What should defendants know about federal plea deals?

Facing federal criminal charges can be a difficult experience. For many defendants, the thought of having to face a federal prosecutor in a trial is not exactly appealing. People who admit that they did the crimes they are accused of might choose to look into the possibility of a plea deal. This is a defense option that wouldn't require them to go against the prosecutor.

If you didn't commit the crime that led to the charges, you can't have a plea deal in federal court. There is a specific directive that forbids federal prosecutors from being able to accept an Alford plea, which is one in which the person doesn't admit that they are guilty of the charges.

Man could serve 23 years for embezzling millions

A California man pleaded guilty to embezzling thousands of dollars from his employer over a period of nearly three years. One count of mail fraud and one count of subscribing to a false income tax return will result in a sentence of 23 years in prison along with fines and restitution that could top $1 million.

The illegal activity reportedly began in October of 2015 while the man was employed as controller for a printing business. Checks processed for paying the company's taxes were prepared, signed by the firm's president and sent to the controller to remit to the IRS. However, this controller reportedly placed his personal tax information on the vouchers that accompanied the checks. This resulted in the payments, which varied between $200,000 and $400,000 each, being credited to the controller's personal tax account and refunded by the IRS to his personal bank account.

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