A 34-year-old California woman was sentenced to 63 months in federal prison on Oct. 16 after she was convicted of embezzling more than $1.5 million from multiple clients. The woman was the owner and operator of a company that provided financial assistance, including tax, bookkeeping and accounting services for her clients.
The woman obtained money from clients by getting small business owners to give her control of their accounts. She allegedly convinced the clients to make checks payable to "Income Tax Payments" and falsely promised that the money would be used towards the clients' past and future tax obligations. She reportedly stole a total of $1,538,771 from clients based all over the country.
A United States District judge stated that the woman used the payments for personal use. She reportedly used the stolen money for an Arabian horse, a rental home in Laguna Beach and cosmetic surgery. In June, she pleaded guilty to multiple charges, including wire fraud and filing a fraudulent income tax return that failed to report the stolen funds. In addition to the prison sentence, the woman was required to pay restitution to seven clients.
Those who are accused of embezzling money from clients or other companies are at risk of facing severe legal penalties, especially if they are facing federal charges. A criminal law attorney could investigate the accusations made against a client to determine if the evidence was legally gathered. If authorities illegally searched documents or a person's property, the evidence against may be thrown out, potentially weakening the prosecution's case or causing the case to be dismissed altogether due to lack of evidence.