For many years, white collar crime has been viewed as a “lesser” crime ? punishable by fines or probation but rarely long jail sentences. This perception, however, may not be accurate. Recent history has shown that authorities are all too willing to pass down heavy sentences for white collar crime. After all, Bernie Madoff, the most famous white collar criminal in recent years, was sentenced to 150 years in prison for his involvement in a Ponzi scheme.
Of course, most white collar crimes are nowhere near as serious as that one. However, a conviction can still result in significant jail time and have a negative effect on career opportunities in the future.
A woman who now living in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, was recently charged with allegedly embezzling thousands of dollars from a township in New York. The 35-year-old woman was the clerk and treasurer of the Village of Riverside in the southern part of the state. She allegedly overpaid herself over a one-year period of her employment.
The defendant is accused of overpaying herself more than $40,000 between 2011 and 2012. She also is accused of reducing the amount that Riverside residents owed on their water bills, charging them the full amount and pocketing the difference. Authorities also allege that she used city credit cards for personal expenses.
The alleged financial discrepancies were apparently discovered by the city’s mayor. He then brought in auditors. Following an investigation, the woman was removed from her job. She then moved to North Carolina.
This month she was arraigned in a New York courtroom. She was then released on her own recognizance, as the judge did not feel she was a flight risk. The investigation into the embezzlement is continuing. Under New York law, she could be facing fines of up to twice the amount authorities determine that she embezzled and face up to seven years in prison.
Source: The Leader, “Police: Former Riverside clerk/treasurer stole more than $40,000” James Post, Nov. 08, 2013