Working in an organization that receives large amounts of money can be daunting to handle properly. Like many organizations, sometimes mistakes are made, and money is misplaced or not tracked correctly. One Louisiana woman is now facing criminal charges after being accused of stealing from her place of employment. As she confronts the accusations, she is likely considering her criminal defense options.
The 55-year-old woman was arrested recently after being accused of embezzling more than $70,000 of a publicly funded organization. The agency receives about $500,000 annually from the public. When the investigation began, she was the president of the organization. According to law enforcement, the woman issued 85 agency checks to herself over the course of five years.
Allegedly, the ex-president used the funds for personal interest. According to reports, a local TV station initiated an investigation in 2016, noting prohibited purchases on her credit card provided by the agency. Some of those purchases allegedly included a theme-park trip as well as charges for a hotel bar and gas. There are also accusations that the woman failed to keep receipts after purchases as required.
Being accused of a fraud is not only disheartening as one is likely to lose his or her job and suffer adverse effects to his or her reputation, but there is a possibility of potential jail time or fines. Though an individual is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, a criminal defense attorney can also review a prosecution’s evidence against the accused and can help negotiate a plea deal. A plea deal could potentially lead to a lighter sentence than a guilty verdict at trial. A defense attorney can counsel and help the accused reach the best possible outcome in the Louisiana criminal justice system.
Source: theadvocate.com, “Ex-leader of New Orleans tourism organization accused of fraud; wrote more than $70K in checks to herself“, Ramon Antonio Vargas, May 7, 2018