Embezzlement is a very tempting crime that can snare even the best-intended individuals. In New York City, Kenneth Wynder Jr. is the president of the city’s Law Enforcement Employees Benevolent Association (LEEBA) and is accused of the embezzlement of hundreds of thousands of dollars from LEEBA accounts.

Although the union represents law enforcement workers, it does not represent actual police officers. Instead, it represents the support staff of various member law enforcement agencies, none of whom are part of the New York Police Department. Those support staffers are the ones missing more than $500,000 in retirement funds allegedly embezzled by Wynder.

Personal transportation, housing and good times

A federal criminal complaint against Wynder accuses him of one count of wire fraud committed during a multi-year “scheme to withdraw funds from the Annuity Fund and from the retirement accounts of individual members.” The complaint sys Wynder used “false and fraudulent pretenses” and made “false and fraudulent statements to the Annuity Fund’s custodian to justify withdrawals” and to members so that they would continue investing in the Annuity Fund.

The complaint says Wynder engaged in the fraud from about 2012 through 2019 and netted $529,000 in embezzled funds from LEEBA. The transfers from the Annuity Fund were to pay for operational costs but the complaint says Wynder used the money to pay for $77,000 Lexus, housing costs and other personal expenses. The complaint also says Wynder and other LEEBA officials illegally withdrew $450,000 in organizational funds that were used for personal purposes.

Ensure a fair trial

Whether you face a federal charge like Wynder or have a state-initiated case against you, hiring a New York attorney who is experienced in arguing embezzlement and fraud cases is important. That helps to ensure a fair hearing when you get your day in court.