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Accountant charged with embezzling $660K to gamble with

Prosecutors often target accountants and other professionals who similarly handle their client’s money for white collar charges. They will often charge the accused person with a felony, even if the amount of allegedly stolen money is relatively small.

Of course, in many cases the amount of money the defendant is accused of embezzling is rather large. In one case from outside of Maryland, the owner of an accounting firm has been charged with using about $660,000 of a client’s funds to gamble at casinos.

The man has been indicted in federal court. According to the indictment, the victim is a physician who hired the firm to handle payroll, accounting and other financial services. In 2008, the physician authorized the accountant to use a signature stamp so that the doctor would not have to go to the firm to sign checks by hand.

Prosecutors claim that for about 10 months, the accountant wrote checks from the medical practice’s account to another physician’s account, and also made money transfers between the accounts. He would then write cashier’s checks in the second physician’s account to himself, and turn the checks over to casinos in his area.

If convicted, the defendant may be ordered to forfeit any money or property he allegedly obtained from the financial transfers, if any is remaining.

Many times, a person accused of embezzlement or other white collar crime is struggling with a gambling addiction. We don’t know if that is the case here; however, it is worth remembering that he is alleged to have used hundreds of thousands of dollars to gamble at casinos.

Source: Nwitimes.com, “Feds: Munster accountant stole from doctor to gamble at casinos,” Ed Bierschenk, Sept. 26, 2014

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