A 34-year-old Michigan woman has been charged with embezzling more than $63,000 from the city of Grand Rapids. According to prosecutors, the woman stole money that was raised selling seized and abandoned vehicles stored at the city’s impound lot. She faces a charge of embezzlement of more than $50,000, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years in Michigan. The woman appeared in court for an arraignment hearing on Jan. 6. She waived her right to a preliminary hearing and was released on a personal recognizance bond.
The investigation into the woman’s alleged embezzlement was launched when her supervisor noticed that she often took several days to deposit money collected at the auctions and failed to turn in forms that revealed how much had been raised. Investigators checked the records and concluded that $63,388 had been taken from the proceeds of four auctions held in 2019 and 2020. Based on this information, investigators obtained a search warrant to access the woman’s bank records. They allegedly discovered cash deposits made within days of the auctions that matched the amount of money taken.
City issues a statement
According to media reports, the woman told investigators who asked her about the missing money that she could have made a mistake. In an email statement sent to the press, a city official said that the woman no longer works for Grand Rapids and changes have been made to prevent similar crimes in the future.
Plea agreement likely
Cases involving white-collar crimes like fraud and embezzlement are rarely argued in court. The evidence in these cases is often overwhelming, and defendants usually agree to plead guilty in return for a reduction in charges and a more lenient sentence. When the defendant has no prior criminal record and shows genuine remorse for their actions, prosecutors may be willing to make generous plea offers.