Nick Lotito & Seth Kirschenbaum

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University employee investigated in possible embezzlement scheme

In Atlanta, an embezzlement scheme can result in severe penalties if the individual committing the act is caught. There are many different ways for a person to commit embezzlement. The simple act of making an unlawful gain, no matter how trivial it might appear, can lead to charges. A person may believe that his or her act is innocuous, but it could still be deemed as an embezzlement scheme and result in an arrest.

An employee at a collegiate athletics department is being investigated to determine whether he was using an embezzlement scheme to accrue benefits for himself and a personal business. The man directs the broadcasting and media department of the school and an investigation is underway to see if he was embezzling money from the school to fund his private business between February of 2010 and last month. The school conducted an audit and discovered activity that it believed to be suspicious. The man might have been billing privately for school sporting events and interviews of fellow employees. He has been an employee at the school for 12 years.

There are many different ways in which a person can get caught up in embezzling funds. It could be through overt larceny; "skimming" money from various sources; creating vendors and suppliers that don't exist and funneling money to oneself; falsely billing a company; or charging clients from an outside business using the company as a front. Unlawful gain in any way can result in charges for embezzlement. These charges can be serious and have severe penalties if there is a conviction. In some instances, people will be allowed to simply pay the money back after a negotiation. In others, the company will pursue the harshest punishments possible. It is important to understand the legal ramifications of charges of embezzlement and prepare a sufficient defense, whether the charges are valid or not.

In this case, the man is still being investigated for the irregularities that were found by the school. He has yet to be charged with any crime even though there is evidence that something was amiss. When a person is facing these types of charges, the wisest course of action for them to take before anything else is to discuss the matter with an attorney. Every individual is innocent until proven guilty and deserves a zealous defense on their behalf.

Source: Roanoke.com, "Virginia Tech athletics official subject of embezzlement probe," Mike Barber, Mar. 19, 2014

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Nick Lotito & Seth Kirschenbaum

Former Federal Prosecutors

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