A rags-to-riches story is often compelling, especially when the subjects of the story use their gifts to give back to a community that helped them when they were down. One such story involves a family living in their minivan who received help from a nonprofit organization that helped them to get back on their feet. Both spouses then graduated from college and began careers. However, in the course of giving back, the couple now faces charges of embezzlement.
The husband, a certified public accountant, served as president of the booster club of a high school in another state, and his wife ran the school store and concession stand. For three years, the couple allegedly skimmed money directly from the booster club’s accounts through wire transfers, debit card transactions, checks and club credit cards. Investigators believe the couple spent over $400,000 of club money on vehicles, trips to Europe, tickets to sporting events, meals out and paying down their own credit cards.
Covering their tracks
School officials became suspicious that something was wrong after the man resigned from the booster club and the school began to review the accounts. Part of the reason why this became a federal investigation is that authorities believe the couple made fraudulent applications for pandemic relief funds to pay off the club credit card and complete some upgrades for the high school athletic teams. They believe the man also used federal funds to cover some expenses for his own business.
It may seem impossible to dispute claims of a money trail set out by federal investigators, including electronic withdrawals and checks. Nevertheless, the accused are innocent until proven guilty. Those in Florida facing charges of embezzlement or other white collar crimes have every right to build a vigorous defense strategy to fight the charges against them.