Earlier this week, former mayor and CPA of Oroville California (north of Sacramento), Dennis Diver, pleaded no contest to two counts of embezzlement. Prosecutors from the Butte County District Attorney’s Office said the politician embezzled 400,000 dollars in the span of less than 2 years. Diver is accused of moving funds around between accounts. The victims were a regional district of several Northstate rotary clubs, three trusts and one estate, all of whom were clients of Diver. A forensic accountant was used by the DA’s office give forensic analysis of how fraudsters were moving money.
Diver will appear in Court on September 30 for sentencing. He faces up to four years in prison although he will likely be granted probation so he can repay back the embezzled funds. He has repaid $186,00 so far.
Embezzlement is a Kind of Theft
Under the common law the term “embezzlement” generally refers to a particular kind of theft where an individual who is in a position of trust or responsibility over another person’s property or money fraudulently takes that property or money for him or herself. It is categorized as a white collar crime and is looked upon as a kind of theft that involves a breach of trust. As such, embezzlement can happen in many situations. For example, an accountant who takes money from his clients to pay off his or her own personal debts is embezzling, as is a treasurer of a club who takes funds from the club for personal use.
CA Penal Code 503 addresses embezzlement in California. It defines embezzlement as fraudulently appropriating property that belongs to someone else and has been entrusted to you. Embezzlement can be either a grand theft or petty theft depending on the value or type of property that is stolen. Stolen property worth over $950, an automobile, or firearm is considered a California ‘grand theft.’
As such, embezzlement is a wobbler crime and can be tried as either a misdemeanor which is punishable by up to one year in jail, or a felony, which is punishable by up to three years in jail.
San Diego Theft and Embezzlement Attorney
Defending a white collar crime is different from building a defense for someone charged with a violent crime. The bigger the amount in question, the greater the chances of punishment. The Law Offices of David M. Boertje handles all types of Misdemeanor and Felony criminal cases in San Diego County, including white collar crime, embezzlement, theft, and insurance fraud. We are licensed to practice in federal court and state court and can represent you in your white collar crime case during the entire process. Contact our office today and ask for a free, confidential consultation to see how we may be able to put our experience to use to help you.