Embezzlement and other theft crimes are often considered harmless, since they solely involve monetary losses. However, these losses can be huge, totaling hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.
An embezzlement scheme involving a Maryland fishing organization has left the association out of business and in debt. The Pennsylvania man, who served as the executive director of the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishing Association, is now facing prison for embezzling more than $130,000 from the nonprofit.
On September 24, the 40-year-old man appeared in Anne Arundel Circuit Court in Maryland. He received a sentence of five years in prison, with all but 18 months suspended. In addition, he was sentenced to five years of probation and has been ordered to pay restitution to the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishing Association in the amount of $136,200.
Unfortunately, the man’s embezzlement scheme put the company out of business. The organization, which boasted more than 8,000 members, could not be salvaged. The Maryland Saltwater Sportfishing Association still has significant debts that need to be paid off. The nonprofit has more than $100,000 in bank loans and owes money to various companies.
The man’s conduct also affected other fishing-related companies. Boat sales, marinas, tackle shops, restaurants, advertisers and other companies associated with recreational fishing in Maryland have been affected. In addition, with the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishing Association now out of business, the recreational fishing community can no longer help with recreational fishing policies in the state.
If the man does not repay what he stole, he could face additional jail time. He would be considered in violation of his probation and could be put back in prison for the rest of his probation.
The Maryland Saltwater Sportfishing Association hired the man as associate executive director in 2008. He was promoted to executive director in 2009. In 2016, the man informed the Board of Directors that the organization’s liabilities had increased by a whopping 1,765% and total equity dropped 53%. The next year, liabilities had increased another 136% and the total equity dropped another 53%.
The man took out bank loans and credit lines in the association’s name but used the money for himself. The association could no longer sponsor tournaments after the embezzlement. The man had also failed to pay tournament winners from the organization’s fishing tournament from fall 2017.
In January 2019, the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishing Association faced an eviction notice. The man had not paid rent for several months.
White collar crimes like embezzlement may seem minor compared to crimes that physically harm people, such as assault and murder. However, stealing hard-earned money from an individual or organization can be devastating. In this case, the association had to go out of business and it still has significant debt to deal with.
Because of this, embezzlement crimes are often punished harshly. Protect yourself with help from the Columbia white collar crimes lawyers at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. We will aggressively fight for your rights and help you get the best outcome possible. Schedule a free consultation by calling (410) 774-5987 or filling out the online form. We have two offices to serve you.
7310 Ritchie Highway, Suite 910
Glen Burnie, MD 21061
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Columbia, MD 21044