Clients who provide funds to brokers and advisors have every expectation the money goes into the agreed-upon investment vehicle. Sometimes, clients feel shocked to discover misappropriation occurred. While such instances might be rare, they do happen. Several high-profile criminal cases focusing on embezzlement contribute to investor anxieties. A recent case in New York represents one example of an embezzlement arrest.
An embezzlement case in White Plains
In April of 2022, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York and the FBI’s New York office released information about an indictment in a White Plains, NY, federal court. A press release from the attorney’s office notes the CEO of a financial advisory firm faces one count of wire fraud for allegedly embezzling $313,000 from a client.
The press release mentions the case’s specifics, claiming the accused used a client’s money earmarked for investments for personal expenses instead. As with all criminal proceedings, the defendant is innocent until proven guilty.
Prosecutors and law enforcement officials may intend to raise the profile of wire fraud and embezzlement cases. The publicity could discourage others from committing such crimes.
The serious of the charges
Like other white-collar crimes, the penalties for wire fraud can be severe. An individual may face up to $250,000 in fines and 20 years in prison. The most egregious incidents could leave a defendant facing potentially harsh sentencing if found guilty.
When evidence against a defendant appears overwhelming, plea bargaining might be advisable. Accepting a deal on lesser or fewer charges could allow the accused to avoid greater fines and longer prison sentences.
Of course, each specific case is different. Sometimes, a prosecutor’s case might be weak. Or, it might be possible to challenge the admissibility of evidence.