Embezzlement is a type of fraud that occurs when a person wrongfully takes property from someone with whom he or she has a fiduciary relationship, and converts it to his or her own account. Convictions on white collar crimes charges such as embezzlement can be detrimental to the personal and professional life of anyone in Michigan or elsewhere. A 55-year-old woman in another state is facing a federal charge of mail fraud that involves embezzlement.
According to an indictment, the woman helped her father's law offices in her capacity as a real estate agent to list and sell properties that were part of estates in probate. Reportedly, she started doing additional jobs for the firm for which she received hourly remuneration. The court documents allege she began diverting funds that belonged to the estate beneficiaries to her personal account.
Further allegations state that the woman obtained the funds by writing checks to herself, and then cashing them -- often bearing a forged signature of her mother. Reportedly, the alleged embezzlement was discovered after her father's death in 2016 when records and case files from his law office were transferred to a different attorney. The fraudulent checks -- by then altered to show the names of proper payees -- were uncovered during this changeover.
Anyone in Michigan who is facing embezzlement or other white collar crimes charges will likely retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. Having a lawyer in his or her corner from the onset can be invaluable. After assessing the charges and the evidence, the lawyer might launch an independent investigation and devise a defense strategy to secure the best possible outcome.