The New York County District Attorney’s Office announced on Sept. 3 that a 52-year-old man pleaded guilty to embezzling almost $6 million dollars from the office supply company that employed him as a senior vice president. The man, who is a licensed attorney and also served as the company’s general counsel, faces a custodial sentence of between three years and nine years in a state prison. He will be ordered to pay his former employer restitution in the amount of $757,646. Prosecutors say that the man will secure the money to make restitution by selling his Roslyn home.
The man started working for the office supply company in 2006. In 2007, he put a system into place that allowed customers to use the payment processing service PayPal to pay for their orders. From 2013 to 2019, prosecutors say that the man transferred nearly $6 million from his employer’s PayPal account to his own PayPal account. He is said to have transferred no more than $1,000 at any one time to avoid detection. He also allegedly deleted emails that would have revealed what he was doing to his employer.
According to media reports, the man used the embezzled funds to pay for a lavish lifestyle that included exotic vacations, designer merchandise and luxury automobiles. Investigators from the Major Economic Crimes Bureau began looking into the man’s activities in 2019 when his employer filed a lawsuit accusing him of breaching his fiduciary duty and embezzlement.
The evidence for embezzlement, bribery and fraud prosecutions can be complex and difficult for juries to follow. This is why prosecutors often seek to avoid jury trials by resolving cases involving white-collar crimes with plea agreements. During these negotiations, criminal defense attorneys with experience in this area might seek to obtain more lenient treatment for their clients by discussing mitigating factors like sincere regret and a desire to make restitution.