A 44-year-old woman pled guilty last week to theft concerning programs that receive federal funds. Federal prosecutors in Washington said the woman embezzled approximately $5 million from the Association of American Medical Colleges while she worked there as an administrative assistant.
More recently, though, the woman was better known for donating wedding dresses to military brides from her shop in Upper Marlboro. Federal prosecutors allege $1.4 million dollars was transferred from the non-profit to her dress shop. The claim that she transferred the money with checks and set up multiple bank accounts that resembled actual vendors.
The woman's sentencing is set for February where she faces between 41 and 51 months in federal prison in addition to criminal forfeiture of assets and a restitution agreement.
While these penalties are no doubt stiff, criminal charges can almost always carry more potent punishments. Prosecutors have ample leeway to go for substantial jail time and fines. It is up to the accused and their criminal defense attorney to devise a strategy to lessen the penalties and fight some of the charges.
Local Upper Marlboro defense attorneys can help those charged with crimes engage in plea negotiations which highlight mitigating factors to their alleged offenses. This can go a long way in reducing penalties and paving a path for success after the charges are resolved. While good deeds are not a defense to criminal actions, they may be relevant to negotiating a deal which allows those accused of crimes to get back to doing good.
Source: San Francisco Gate, "Woman pleads guilty to stealing $5 million from non-profit," Nov. 25, 2013