White collar crime often seems like the type of offense that isn’t serious or concerning. Generally, no one gets physically hurt by this type of crime, so it seems less harmful than other kinds. This may have even been the thought process of one woman recently charged with embezzlement here in Missouri. The courts will not see it that way, however, and her punishment, if she is convicted, could be severe.
Police say that a man acquired a restaurant in early 2019. He hired his then-girlfriend to manage the business. The two of them allegedly agreed, verbally, to wait until the restaurant took in a profit before either of them made any money from the business.
Part of the woman’s duties included the ability to sign documentation relating to the restaurant’s bank account. The owner claims that late in 2019 he noticed different financial transactions in the account that seemed unusual. He reports that when he spoke to her about the suspicious transactions, she claimed they were meant to cover her business-related expenses. He asked her to end this practice and add herself to the restaurant payroll if she needed payment.
The owner says that, late last year, when he decided to review the restaurant’s finances in advance of a possible sale of the business, he had reason to believe she had stolen a large amount of money from the restaurant. Upon investigation by authorities, they claim that she stole more than $360,000. She was recently arrested and charged with Class C felony stealing and now awaits her court date.
Even people in Missouri who are accused of embezzlement of much smaller amounts than in this example could have their entire lives upended. Even if they manage to avoid serving a prison sentence, a conviction could limit their employment prospects or even cause social stigma. Those facing charges related to any type of white collar crime may want to consult a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney, who can offer valuable advice and vigorous defense against all charges.