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Mich. man extradited in theft case

A man was spending his second day as the comptroller of a yacht club near Detroit when police showed up to arrest him on theft charges.

A grand jury in a state where the man, age 41, formerly lived had indicted him on two counts of first-degree theft, five counts of theft in the second degree and using a computer to commit another crime. The man, from Whitmore Lake, Michigan, is alleged to have embezzled money from the coffee company where he once worked.

According to the indictment, the man worked as the comptroller at the company. Prosecutors said that in a 13-month span in 2009 and 2010, he took funds totaling almost $200,000 in a series of seven transactions. If convicted, he could spend as long as 75 years in prison.

After extradition to the other state, the man entered a guilty plea at his arraignment, with the judge setting trial in Circuit Court for Oct. 3. The judge set the bail at $100,000, despite the plea of his public defender to set it at $10,000.

The public defender said the man was questioned about the allegedly missing company money more than two years ago, then moved to Michigan. The lawyer added the man appears to have no criminal record.

The attorney for the coffee company said that in their analysis of the company finances, officials learned that the records showed that vendors were being paid, when, in fact, the checks were made out to the man. The attorney said federal officials have been monitoring the man's actions.

The man's attorney said his client expected the investigation to be closed after no charges initially were filed. If the case gets to trial, the defendant will have the opportunity to question whatever evidence prosecutors believe they uncovered in the past two years.

Source: Hawaii Tribune-Herald, "Embezzlement case trial set," John Burnett, Aug. 30, 2012

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