The former chairman of the Fifth Church of Christ, Scientist in Los Angeles, will remain jailed awaiting trial for embezzlement. Authorities arrested the man last month for allegedly siphoning more than $11M from the church over more than a decade.
The church hired the man in 2001 as its facilities manager. In 2005, the man began serving as the church’s local chairman. Around the same time, he began transferring church funds to his personal accounts. Investigators say that he used the money to pay personal expenses and purchase a $2M home in Huntington Beach. He used part of the money to purchase membership in an exclusive dining club at Disneyland. He also used a significant portion of the money to trigger a large tax refund from the IRS.
The man altered the church’s financial records to make the missing cash appear as donations to charities and service companies. He also transferred funds to a number of front companies he operated.
Federal prosecutors asked a judge to keep the man in custody pending trial. They cited a real danger of flight and suggested that the man posed a danger to the community. The judge in the case agreed. The suspect will return to court in late October to seek bond and release while awaiting trial. Currently, he faces charges of wire fraud, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. If convicted, he faces as much as 250 years in prison.
Los Angeles Embezzlement Attorney
When you face charges for employment-related theft, hire an experienced embezzlement attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has 35 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes federal criminal defense cases in any circuit in the United States. He also takes state-level cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.
This case demonstrates how complicated employment-related theft cases can be. Depending upon the circumstances of your case, federal prosecution is a very real possibility. Federal prosecutors are aggressive, and well-financed. In addition, their white-collar prosecutions have earned them a very high conviction rate.
That’s why you need an experienced federal criminal defense attorney by your side. Mr. Helfend does not judge his clients based on the charges against them. He simply works hard to get the charges reduced or dropped. When that’s not possible, he works toward the best possible outcome for each case.
Don’t risk your freedom on an inexperienced attorney. Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County embezzlement case.
Photo Credit: Christian Haugen, via Flickr.com