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White collar crimes: School treasurer charged with embezzlement

The actions of people who manage federal funds in Michigan and elsewhere are typically carefully monitored. Anyone with access to hundreds of thousands of dollars might be tempted to misappropriate it. A 57-year-old school treasurer in another state faces federal white collar crimes charges of embezzling over $470,000.

The United States Attorney for that region alleges that, instead of protecting the public funds, the man negligently and willfully abused his position of public trust. The state auditor says audits done over the past 10 years show the treasurer embezzled $1,012,490. The schools involved are nonsectarian, public and nonprofit charter or community schools that are not controlled by the school district.

However, the laws that apply to traditional public schools also apply to community schools. It is further alleged that the taxpayers' dollars were used for self-enrichment, not for students' education. Based on the charges, forfeiture of almost $472,600 is sought, which is the amount traceable through receipts in the audit.

The charges against the former school treasurer are only allegations, and will remain so until, and if, the prosecution can prove guilt in court and beyond a reasonable doubt. Facing charges of fraud or embezzlement is serious, and an experienced criminal defense attorney will best serve anyone in Michigan accused of committing white collar crimes. A conviction on charges involving embezzlement of federal funds could result in a 10-year prison sentence, up to $250,000 in fines, and a supervised release of three years. A skilled attorney will focus on presenting a strong defense designed to achieve the best possible outcome for the client.

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