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.
According to sources, this wasn't the controller's first endeavor in embezzlement from his employer. Approximately 10 years earlier, he attempted a similar feat as controller for an aerospace contractor bilking around $525,000. He served a three-year sentence after pleading no contest to the charges.
The severity of the sentence imposed is possibly due to the prior offense as well as the similarity. The fact that both offenses involved fraudulent activity against federal and state governmental agencies probably exacerbated the punishment as well. Persons who find themselves accused of a similar crime may seek the assistance of an attorney who is experienced in criminal defense. Sometimes, a plea deal may be negotiated in which restitution can be made in exchange for a lighter sentence. If the accused believes the charges to be unfair or untrue, seeking the services of an attorney might help to get the charges dismissed.