On April 23, a 51-year-old California woman pleaded guilty to the embezzlement of $114,304. She received a sentence of three years probation.
The woman embezzled the funds from the brokerage firm where she worked. According to the sheriff's office, the owner of the business discovered the missing money when a client sent him a collections notice. The woman managed client payment invoices, and she said she took the money to pay off a tax debt.
The woman took the money in 2014. A year later, her home was searched by sheriff's investigators and the woman was taken into custody. She was charged with felony grand theft, but her plea deal allowed her to plead guilty to one felony count of embezzlement. On May 29, she will return to court for another hearing that will deal with restitution to the employer.
Embezzlement is one of a number of what are often referred to as "white collar crimes". These may include various forms of fraud or misappropriation of funds done through actions including falsifying records, such as a false vendor account, to hide where the money has gone. An investigation into this type of crime may be wide-ranging, and in some cases, people who are interviewed by law enforcement might not realize they may be the target of an investigation. Therefore, people who are in the early stages of involvement in such an investigation might want to talk to an attorney about how best to proceed. People should also not assume that because the crime is of the "white collar" type that the penalties are not likely to be severe. However, in some cases, people might be able to work out a deal with the prosecution like the plea bargain in this case.
Source: NBC Los Angeles, "Woman Sentenced in $114K Brokerage Business Embezzlement", April 23, 2018