Embezzling, which is when you take funds or misappropriate funds that were given to you for business reasons. For instance, if you have a client who sells a home for $20,000 and you are supposed to receive $500 for the sale, taking anything more than that through false fees or fake withdrawals for services not rendered could be considered embezzlement.
An accountant in Ohio has pleaded guilty to embezzling $1 million from a local real estate business, Don Wright Realty. The woman had worked for the company for 30 years when it was discovered that she was stealing money from her employer to pay down American Express bills and to buy money orders for other purchases.
The 60-year-old woman pleaded guilty to income tax evasion and wire fraud, which, when combined, could have a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. She is working with the prosecution on a plea deal, which, if accepted, would result in only 18 to 36 months in prison. On top of this, the woman has been ordered to pay the company $1,098,778.23 and to pay back taxes in the amount of $255,571.
When asked about the situation, the realty company's owner said that it was disappointing but realized that these things happen once in a while in business. He had filed the lawsuit against the woman in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court, where the woman confessed. She had previously been in charge of preparing deposit slips and making deposits on behalf of the business owner, and she was responsible for crediting tenant accounts. The Federal Bureau of Investigation claims that the woman had schemed to embezzle close to $613,000 in cash from her employer to pay her personal credit card account.
In these cases, the best option when evidence is against you is sometimes to agree to a plea bargain, like in this case, but everyone's situation is different. An attorney can give you a better idea of what to expect in court.
Source: Springfield News-Sun, "Accountant pleads guilty to embezzling $1 million from realty business," Mark Gokavi, Nov. 18, 2016