Many people learn from their crimes. They do something once and never do it again. However, a Maryland woman was recently convicted of fraud for the second time in eight years.
The 60-year-old woman pled guilty to theft after stealing $1.5 million from the Kirov Academy of Ballet and using the money for gambling and other personal expenses. The woman had worked for the school as a comptroller since 2017. In 2018, she used the company’s bank card as if it was her personal bank account. She used it 120 times to withdraw cash and gamble at MGM Grand Casino, located near her home in Temple Hills. When school officials discovered the money was missing, they alerted the FBI. In November 2019, the woman was arrested at the casino.
The woman pled guilty to fraud charges. Her punishment includes up to 30 years in prison as well as a $3 million fine. Her sentencing is scheduled for September.
However, this was not the first time the woman had been convicted of fraud. After getting married, she became a member of the Freedom Foundation, which is a nonprofit group affiliated with the Unification Church, which she joined as a teenager. In 2013, she was charged and convicted of embezzlement after gambling away the foundation’s money in casinos throughout New Jersey.
After serving two years in prison, she was hired as the comptroller for Kirov Academy of Ballet. It is unknown why the school decided to hire her despite her criminal history.
Many people think of embezzlement as a minor crime. After all, it is considered nonviolent. While nobody gets physically injured when their money is stolen, there is emotional distress involved. While strangers are the ones stealing the money in many cases, sometimes the theft is done by someone the person trusts, such as an employee or family member.
While violent crimes have decreased, fraud, embezzlement, and other nonviolent crimes have increased. Money is a huge motivator for many people. Technology has made it easier than ever for people to engage in fraud and other embezzlement crimes. Many of these crimes involve banks and insurance companies, although in a lot of cases, it is an employee using company funds to pay for personal expenses, as seen in the case with the woman.
Approximately one-third of American households are victims of these white collar crimes. However, only 41% of them are reported and only 21% are handled by law enforcement.
Many people are tempted by large amounts of money and may resort to misuse of company and individual funds. However, this is considered embezzlement, which is a type of fraud that carries serious criminal charges.
A person can spend decades in prison for this type of crime. Get help reducing your charges with help from the Glen Burnie criminal lawyers at The Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. We can represent your case and help you get a favorable outcome. Learn more by filling out the online form or calling (410) 774-5987. We have two offices to serve you.
7310 Ritchie Highway, Suite 910
Glen Burnie, MD 21061
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Columbia, MD 21044