Handling large amounts of money and accounts for businesses can be complex. As well as having to manage large amounts of money, it may be tempting for an employee to justify taking some cash or for an employer to accuse an employee of theft when accounts cannot be reconciled. Recently, a woman's fate was determined by a jury in one of Pennsylvania's largest embezzlement schemes.
The woman worked for a funeral home supply company for many years, handling the cash flow of the business. She claimed that over the years she became bitter after being passed over for raises and promotions, but employer records claimed otherwise. She also admitted to a gambling problem, but no evidence was found of her gambling until well after she began taking the company's money. Over a period of 16 years she began to take money from the company and placed it into a shell company. She stole approximately $13 million before the loss was discovered.
She was prosecuted in criminal court and reportedly admitted to the theft. Not only will she have to serve time in prison, the auction process has begun to sell assets she owned with her husband to help pay back most of the $13 million. Reportedly, her husband is being prosecuted in a separate case for his alleged knowledge and involvement.
Most theft cases are for smaller amounts of cash or goods, but no matter the size, a criminal defense lawyer can be of assistance. Not all persons charged with embezzlement and theft are found guilty. In some cases, Pennsylvania lawyers may be able to get the charges reduced or tossed out of court entirely, and in others they may be able to help negotiate lesser terms of punishment.
Source: post-gazette.com, "Woman who stole nearly $13M from Matthews International gets 8-plus years in prison", Tosten Ove, Sept. 28, 2017