What Happens if You Steal Money from Your Employer in North Carolina?
With rising economic pressures, the temptation to steal is high for many North Carolina residents. These temptations may be exceptionally high for employees who are entrusted with managing money. But what happens if you give in to these temptations? What kind of penalties might you face for stealing money from your employer? As one recent case in North Carolina illustrates, the consequences can be quite high.
North Carolina Former Employee Faces Almost 150 Years in Prison
On August 16, 2023, the Justice Department announced that a former employee of a trucking company in North Carolina was facing numerous charges for wire fraud and money laundering. The woman was apparently put in charge of the company’s third-party payment processing account, which gave her the ability to issue prepaid debit cards to herself. Between 2017 and 2021, the defendant allegedly issued debit cards to herself, former employees, fake employees, and current employees who had no idea what was happening. She then allegedly proceeded to withdraw funds from ATMs. This apparently allowed her to rake in more than $500,000 over the four years.
In addition, she is accused of issuing checks to herself and making fake wire transfers, allowing her to steal an additional $315,000. Finally, almost $60,000 of the company’s funds were diverted to a bank account of a former employee. It is not known whether this last act was intentional or accidental. If that wasn’t enough, the former employee also filed fraudulent tax returns during those four years and failed to declare the embezzled funds.
The consequences of these alleged crimes are quite serious. She has been charged with six counts of wire fraud. Each of these counts carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000. This means that she faces 120 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines for the wire fraud counts alone. In addition, she faces five counts of filing a false tax return, each of which carries a maximum of one year in prison. The last two counts are money laundering, each with a maximum penalty of 20 years and a possible fine of $500,000.
Stealing a Small Amount May Still Constitute Larceny by an Employee
It’s worth mentioning that even if you steal a few bills from the cash register, you may still face serious criminal charges in North Carolina. One possibility is “larceny by employee,” which is a felony. Unlike other forms of theft, it does not matter how much an employee steals in this case.
Where Can I Find a Criminal Defense Attorney in North Carolina?
If you have been accused of stealing money from your employer in North Carolina, it makes sense to get in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Choose Coastal South Law today and get started with an effective defense strategy right away. We have helped numerous defendants fight for their rights in the Tar Heel State, and we can do the same for you. Call now to book a consultation.