Maryland HOA President Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement Charge
A president of an HOA has pled guilty to a misdemeanor embezzlement charge after he and four other people allegedly stole more than $100,000 over the last five years. The man accepted a plea deal in which sentencing would be delayed until a restitution plan is reached.
The man, his wife, his daughter, the treasurer of the HOA and his wife were all involved in the South Hampton Homeowners Association embezzlement scheme. The five co-defendants have been accused of laundering money stolen from the HOA’s account. They then deposited the money into accounts at several banks and two companies. One was a shell corporation owned by HOA president’s daughter. The other was a trash pickup company owned by the treasurer’s wife.
The financial crimes division of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office had been investigating the parties over the last 14 months. The investigation involved seizing document from both men’s residences and tracing payments to and from their various bank accounts.
The HOA president’s attorney argued that when his client became HOA president in 2005, he inherited a “shambles.” As such, he was unable to find a management company that would be willing to take over the HOA’s operations. There was a lack of available documentation and this made it seem like funds were misused.
All five have been charged with felony theft and conspiracy. The HOA president and his wife, if convicted, could face punishment include a $25,000 fine and 25 years in prison. The others could face up to a $10,000 fine and 10 years in prison.
Embezzlement is a white collar crime that involves theft, usually money. The person who stole the property had access to it, but not legal ownership. For example, a treasurer of an organization would be entrusted to oversee the money, but they could not legally spend it without permission from others involved in the organization. It is not available for their personal use. Bank tellers and family members caring for a relative would also have access to others’ money and could be charged with embezzlement if they were to misuse it.
In Maryland, the penalties for embezzlement may vary, depending on the amount stolen. Those who steal less than $500 face the least severe penalties. Those who steal amounts in the six figures—such as the parties involved in this case—face the harshest penalties. A person will likely be forced to pay back the victims. They will also face fines and prison time.
Contact a Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
Embezzlement is a type of theft that can result in serious punishment. In some cases, you could face federal charges. Do not handle such a case on your own.
If you are facing embezzlement charges, seek legal help from The Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. Our Columbia white collar crime lawyers can gather evidence, conduct a thorough investigation, argue your case successfully and help you achieve a favorable outcome. Schedule a consultation today. Fill out the online form or call (410) 774-5987. We have two offices in Maryland to serve you.