A San Francisco man has recently been sentenced for his part in an embezzlement scheme related to the nonprofit for where he once served as the chief financial officer. The 51-year-old (name withheld for reasons of privacy) was tried this past November on charges of tax evasion and fraud. Court records show that he took more than $800,000 for himself and another $120,000 in payments to an employee who did not actually work for the organization. He evidently accomplished all of this via the use of credit cards and checks for the nonprofit, both of which he had full control over; he has been sentenced to a period of nearly 5 years in federal prison.
18 U.S. Code, Chapter 31 is the federal law that addresses embezzlement and theft. It is easy to understand what embezzlement is when you think of it as the theft of property; except, in these cases, the property is money or goods that an individual has access to and control over in name, but does not have actual ownership of those monies or goods. There are at least 17 different kinds of embezzlement, ranging from the theft of a major artwork to the theft of public money, property, or records.
Depending upon which section of Chapter 31 an individual has been charged under, there are a variety of different penalties they may be subject to if convicted. This also means that there are separate penalties for misdemeanor embezzlement and felony embezzlement (CA Penal Code 503). The man in the aforementioned case was likely charged under the section of Chapter 31 that covers ‘programs receiving federal funds’ as he worked for a nonprofit agency. If this is the case, his near 5-year sentence was light, considering that he could have been forced to remain in federal prison for 10 years and pay a $250,000 fine. He was also asked to pay an additional $1.1 million in restitution to the outfit where he was previously employed.