A person accused of a white collar crime stands to lose a great deal with a conviction. It is a crime that prosecutors take very seriously no matter what type of business is involved. A conviction can result in jail time, fines and other punishment. Even just the accusation can result in damage to a person’s reputation and career, so it is imperative that anyone accused of a white collar crime has a thorough criminal defense strategy. This may be what one Missouri CFO will need in relation to accusations that he embezzled almost $4 million from his company.

The accused man worked as an executive for a parent company that owns several waterbed and mattress stores. His normal salary was around $90,000 a year. Authorities say that he wrote around 500 checks to himself from his company’s accounts. They allege that he used the money to gamble, take several vacations and pay for his home. The amount he is accused of embezzling is $3.8 million.

He has been charged with three counts of wire fraud, which is a criminal offense that falls under federal law. Federal charges often carry more severe punishments — in this case, each count could get the man up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The man claims that he was reimbursing himself for taxes that he paid for the company from his own money. However, authorities also say that the man tried to cover his alleged crimes by changing his company’s financial record books after the company hired a third party to conduct a financial review.

The charges against this Missouri man could be life-changing. Those who are in a similar position will want to ensure that they have a strong plan for criminal defense. Working with an attorney who has experience with white collar crime defense will give an accused person the best chance at defending against these charges.