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Man charged in California embezzlement case

On Feb. 28, a 61-year-old man was charged for allegedly embezzling over $100,000 from a California company. The incident took place in Lake County.

According to media accounts, the defendant was working as a bookkeeper for a local couple, and an investigation by the Lake County Sheriff's Department determined that he stole $103,000 from their business and personal bank accounts. The evidence was sent to the Lake County District Attorney's Office in September, and a criminal case was opened on Feb. 7. On Feb. 8, a judge issued a warrant for the defendant's arrest. However, he was already serving a jail sentence in Sacramento County for stealing the identities of his adult daughter and son. With that sentence complete, he was transferred to the Hill Road Correctional Facility in Lakeport to face the embezzlement charges.

In 2006, the defendant was also convicted of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from the trust of an elderly friend. Before he can post bail on the latest charges, he must prove that the funds he uses have been legally obtained. This condition, called a PC 1275 hold, is common in cases where a defendant is accused of stealing money.

An embezzlement scheme typically involves theft by a person who is in a position of trust. Depending on the value of the stolen property, embezzlement charges can be a misdemeanor or a felony. If convicted, defendants facing such charges could be sentenced to incarceration and heavy fines. They could also lose their careers. However, just because someone has been charged with embezzlement doesn't mean they are guilty. A criminal defense attorney may be able to scrutinize the evidence and work to build a defense against the allegations.

Source: Lake County News, "Former county education official booked for embezzlement case," Elizabeth Larson, March 1, 2018

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