A Michigan man has admitted to embezzling $870,000 from the bank that employed him and failing to report the money on his federal tax return. The 52-year-old Grand Rapids resident entered guilty pleas to single counts of embezzlement and tax evasion on March 6. The embezzlement charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in a federal prison, and the tax evasion charge could add a further five years to the man’s sentence.
According to court papers, the man embezzled the money while employed by a Michigan bank as one of its senior vice presidents. Special agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and investigators from the Internal Revenue Service say the man took advantage of his executive position in three ways. He took money directly from accounts that he believed would not be closely scrutinized, he took out phony loans in the names of bank customers and he pocketed loan fees.
The man committed the white-collar crimes he pleaded guilty to between 2014 and 2021. A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan does not reveal how the man kept his activities hidden from his employer, but it does mention that he failed to report the money he embezzled on any of the federal income tax returns he submitted while he worked at the bank. According to media reports, the man used the money to pay his personal expenses and fund his lifestyle.
Cases like this one are almost always resolved by plea agreements. Prosecutors in white-collar crime cases usually have bank records, financial statements and electronic records to back up their allegations, which is why most people accused of bribery, embezzlement and fraud choose to give up their right to a trial in return for a reduced sentence.