White Collar Crimes: Gambling Addiction Can Be Detrimental

Addictions, and the funds needed to satisfy addictions, can sometimes drive people to do things they would not normally do. A 56-year-old Michigan woman, formerly the Deputy Treasurer of the City of Charlotte, was recently sentenced to six months in prison after she was convicted of white collar crimes. It appears her suspected gambling addiction drove her to embezzle taxpayers' money while she was in the city's employ.

Reportedly, the woman took the money that residents paid for taxes, traffic tickets and other fees for her own enrichment. She then manipulated the books to hide the misconduct. Upon discovering the discrepancies, the city place the woman on leave while the investigation into the suspected embezzlement was conducted. Investigators reportedly found that the woman was a regular visitor to a casino in Battle Creek, and it was established that she lost at least $50,000 through gambling just at that one location.

Defense counsel for the former Deputy Treasurer negotiated a plea deal to an embezzlement charge of between $20,000 and $49,999 rather that the initial felony charge for a higher amount. According to the deal, she must pay restitution of more than $79,000 to the city. Furthermore, she will be on probation for five years and must perform 100 hours of community service. She will be prohibited from accepting a position in which she has access to the money of other people, and may not take part in any activities related to gambling.

Any Michigan person who is suspected of committing white collar crimes may greatly benefit from retaining the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney. A lawyer will assess the circumstances and ensure that the client's rights are protected throughout any criminal proceedings. Criminal defense is often a two-pronged process. Defense counsel typically pursues a vigorous defense to the accusations while also exploring the possibility of a plea agreement with prosecutors. If a plea deal is offered, the client then has the option to choose to accept it or proceed to trial, a decision that typically depends upon the terms of the proposed agreement and the perceived strength of the prosecution's case.

Source: wilx.com, "Former Charlotte City Employee Sentenced For Embezzlement", Aug. 20, 2015

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