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CPA in California accused of embezzling $1.2 million

A 64-year-old man who is a licensed certified public accountant and employee of the Port of Long Beach has been charged with stealing from a merchant seaman organization and youth soccer league. He served in a volunteer capacity at both organizations and now faces 167 counts of forgery and 14 counts of grand theft. If convicted, allegations of property damage in excess of $200,000 and aggravated white-collar crime for over $500,000 could enhance his sentence. Potentially, his felony charges could produce a 130-year prison term.

According to court documents, between April 2008 and August 2014, he took $850,728.74 while volunteering at the youth soccer league. Almost simultaneously, he allegedly stole $372,330.07 from the merchant seaman group from August 2008 to November 2015. Altogether, the prosecutor said that the man embezzled $1.2 million. No money has been found, and investigators suspect that he sent it to associates in Central America.

The criminal complaint detailed his alleged activities that started to come to light in August 2014. At that time, a bookkeeper at the soccer league gained access to the bank accounts that he had been managing and discovered discrepancies. By Thanksgiving of that year, the bookkeeper learned that no money was available for payroll. The man awaits his next court appearance in jail without bail.

A person accused of embezzlement could seek out legal representation to challenge aggressive prosecution. An attorney's case evaluation could provide insights about how the client should plead in court. A defense strategy might emerge if the financial records do not clearly show a connection to the defendant. An attorney might question vague evidence and strive to get charges dropped or reduced.

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