Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Yuba City Dental Assistant Sentenced to Prison on Fraud Charges

A dental assistant from Yuba City has been sentenced to three years in prison after she was convicted of embezzlement charges. The woman had been charged with stealing $205,000 from a dentist, her former employer. She apparently used the money to pay for surgery and purchase some jewelry and electronic items. The embezzlement apparently continued over a period of five years, during which she worked as an office manager at the dentist’s office.

According to prosecutors, the embezzlement involved manipulation of time sheets in order to collect pay for the days that she did not work. Prosecutors also believe that she charged personal items on the company credit card.

Embezzlement charges are typically filed when a person steals money or property when in a position of responsibility. Embezzlement crimes typically involve employees in corporate settings. In California, embezzlement crimes fall under the category of fraud crimes. Embezzlement can involve not just money, but also property or any other assets that the person has responsibility over, has knowledge of, or has access to. The main difference between regular theft and embezzlement is that in embezzlement crimes, the person has responsibility over and access to the assets that are being stolen.

Embezzlement charges in California can result in severe penalties. A person could be sentenced to jail, and may be fined. He or she may also be ordered to pay restitution to the victim, and may be asked to undergo community service. The fine amount increases with the frequency of the crime, as well as the amount that is stolen. Typically, crimes involving amounts worth less than $400 may come with smaller penalties. However, when the money stolen is more than $400, then the person may be charged with a felony or misdemeanor. A person can be sentenced to at least 16 months in prison and restitution.

San Diego criminal defense attorneys caution that, as in this case, an employee may be convicted of embezzlement even for such activities as knowingly submitting improperly completed timesheets. It is important for employees to be scrupulously when dealing with an employer's money or assets.