An embezzlement investigation in Texas took an unexpected turn in March when deputies from the Clay County Sheriff’s Office discovered that funds taken without permission from a high school booster club’s bank account had been sent to a firefighters association. The investigation began when the president of the booster club contacted the CCSO to report that $3,320 had been withdrawn from a First Capital Bank of Texas account by a 46-year-old Petrolia woman between May and October 2019.
The woman was taken into custody on Dec. 4 after deputies noticed that a bank statement she submitted to the booster club did not match the original document sent out by the bank. Deputies believe that the document was manipulated to conceal the transfer of $1,800 to the woman’s personal bank account. She was charged with a third-degree felony count of property theft. She then allegedly admitted to deputies that she took the money and falsified documents.
The investigation seemed to be over until deputies discovered that the money had not been transferred to the woman’s bank account. Instead, they found out the funds had been sent to a firefighter’s association account that had been opened in October by the woman’s husband. The 52-year-old man is a volunteer firefighter and the association’s treasurer. Deputies gathered evidence against the man by accessing computer files, emails and bank records. He also faces a felony theft charge.
Prosecutors often seek to resolve cases involving fraud, bribery and embezzlement at the negotiating table because they can be extremely complex and difficult for juries to follow. Criminal defense attorneys with experience in this area may seek a more lenient sentence during plea negotiations by pointing out their client’s sincere remorse and desire to make restitution. Attorneys might also remind prosecutors about the challenges they would likely face in court.