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White Collar Crimes: Woman Pleads Guilty To Embezzlement

A Michigan woman is awaiting sentencing after she pleaded guilty to embezzlement in August. Court documents indicate that she was accused of stealing in excess of $1.9 million from Shoreline Federal Credit Union in whose employ she was until she was dismissed in Feb. 2015. Her dismissal happened after auditors discovered the white collar crimes that apparently almost caused insolvency for the one-branch credit union that serves approximately 4,000 low-income individuals.

Federal prosecutors allege that the accused 55-year-old Muskegon resident removed money from the vault on 433 occasions over the past 15 years. Her attorney says she started taking money when her husband was unemployed, intending to replace it later. Although it is not known what the money was used for, it was determined that over $875,000 of unexplained deposits were made into the accounts of the accused woman, her husband and two sons.

According to the federal sentencing memorandum, prosecutors want the woman to be sentenced to more than 7 years in a federal penitentiary. The woman, who has a crime-free past, reportedly reached a plea agreement with federal prosecutors. In exchange for her guilty plea, they will file no charges against her sons and husband.

According to federal prosecutors, the white collar crimes to which the Michigan woman pleaded guilty are punishable by up to 30 years. However, the federal sentencing guidelines recommend a prison sentence of six and a half to eight years. Alongside her legal counsel, the woman will have the opportunity to present evidence of mitigating circumstances in an effort to convince the court to exercise leniency.

Source: Detroit Free Press, "Feds detail how employee stole $1.9M from credit union", John Hogan, Dec. 31, 2015

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