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Embezzlement in New Jersey

On December 11, 2010, MYFOXNY.COM  reported in “Feds: Nun Stole $850K For Gambling” that a Sister who was the chief financial officer for Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y. from 1999 to 2009 was indicted for embezzling $850,000 from the Catholic liberal arts college. Students paid $28,000/year for tuition. The Sister gambled much of the money in Atlantic City, New Jersey. She turned in fake bills and used her college credit card to steal money. Iona College got most of the money back from insurance. When the Sister was fired, the college announced she had medical problems, but the embezzling came out when Iona filed losses in its income tax return. The Sister faced 10 years in prison.

Financial crimes like embezzlement are getting a crackdown in New Jersey and surrounding states. In New Jersey, embezzlement laws stem from New Jersey Statutes – Title 25 Frauds and Fraudulent Conveyances, but may be federal crimes as well. Embezzlement includes taking secrets away or illegal misappropriation of funds or other items of value entrusted to an individual.

Analogous to an attorney who engages in insider trading, by giving access to legal files of clients’ financial deals to a trader for personal gain, embezzlement involves occurrences when someone like the Sister is provided access to someone else’s money or property. People in a fiduciary relationship like a CFO may try to get away with crimes when people give them money with the intent that the person manage, monitor, and use those funds in the other person’s best interests. Just like an attorney who removes information from client files, some of which he may not even work on, to trade on the information to make millions, embezzlement happens when someone with access to funds removes the money for his/her own personal gain like Sister taking money to gamble. Usually the person who embezzles is placed into a management function because of trust, but the person betrays trust thinking s/he may never get caught using the money since s/had rightful possession.

According to New Jersey statutes, embezzlement penalties depend on the type of trust that was assumed or understood and the total amount embezzled. There may be jail time, significant fines and fees, restitution, community service. New Jersey courts consider the prior history of the individual along with any mitigating factors. Someone involved in embezzlement may be charged with a felony in either a criminal or civil federal or state court system, and 39.3% of cases have people facing incarceration.

When faced with criminal embezzlement charges, it is important to look to an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney for advice on how to decrease prison time and penalties. Contact the Law Office of Jason A. Volet at (732) 503-8968 or fill out the form on the right.

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