Sometimes those in charge of money for an employer or organization will take a little money for themselves. They start small, taking just a few dollars at a time. When they don’t get caught, they take more risks. This is called embezzlement and these schemes can sometimes last decades. Over time, a person may end up taking hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.
This was what happened to a Maryland woman, who had embezzled nearly $1 million from her employer. In March, the woman was sentenced to 45 months in prison by the U.S. District Court in Baltimore. After she does her time in prison, she will be placed on supervised release for three years. She faces charges of aggravated identity theft and mail fraud.
The 48-year-old Hampstead woman was engaged in an embezzlement scheme that lasted 16 years. She worked as a bookkeeper for a family-owned business called JC, CC, the Cirelli Company. She started the job in 2001. In 2002, the woman began embezzling from the company. She engaged in multiple illegal actions. She would use the company’s credit cards to pay for personal expenses. She also forged signatures on company checks and made unauthorized electronic transfers.
Why was the woman able to hide her scheme for so long? She generated fake invoices and bank statements from a vendor that Cierlli had used for many years. She was also able to code forged checks that she would use to purchase personal items.
Her employer finally became suspicious about charges that were made on the company’s credit card on July 30th, 2018. The woman admitted she made the charges and she was subsequently fired.
Theft and embezzlement are not the same. While embezzlement is a type of theft, the two terms are not interchangeable. In theft, the person is never supposed to be in possession of the stolen item. With embezzlement, however, a person is entrusted with money. What happens, though, is that the person typically steals some it, little by little, so that hopefully nobody notices.
There are three elements involved in embezzlement:
An office worker may be entrusted to manage money for an account. When that person uses the money to pay for a personal expense, it becomes embezzlement. Embezzlement involves using the items, giving them away, selling them, damaging them or permanently taking them from the owner.
Embezzlement crimes are treated harshly, as they involve fraud and theft. Many professionals commit this crime, thinking they will never get caught. When they do, it’s life-changing.
The Columbia white collar crime attorneys at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. has been providing criminal defense for more than 20 years. He will work aggressively to help you get the best outcome possible. We have two offices to serve you. Fill out the online form or call (410) 774-5987 to schedule a free consultation.
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