Embezzlement and Fraud Cases in Washington
In 2017, Sam Bankman-Fried founded FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange platform which boasted a safe and secure method of trading in cryptocurrency, and offered its customers a lot of extra features that deeply impacted the cryptocurrency world. FTX had exploded in popularity amongst cryptocurrency investors, and by 2021 it was holding $15 billion in assets, clearing $16 billion worth of customer trades, and holding 10% of the total volume of trades as well. FTX was a huge success story, with Sam Bankman-Fried benefitting enormously from its success. What people didn’t know was that Sam Bankman-Fried was running an embezzlement and fraud scheme, misusing customer funds to make undisclosed venture investments, real estate purchases, and political donations. If you find yourself facing Embezzlement and Fraud Cases in Washington, retaining an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer is an imperative decision as they will help you navigate these complex situations. The Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer has a team of attorneys that have both the knowledge and experience to help protect your rights and defend you against any charges you may face due your rights being violated.
As customers tried to withdraw funds amidst a cryptocurrency panic, FTX was found to owe its customers’ $8 billion causing it to go bankrupt and collapse, which led to investigations conducted by the SEC which uncovered the defrauding scheme. Sam Bankman-Fried is now being charged with fraud by the U.S. Government, and was arrested in January of 2023.
In the realm of white-collar crime, embezzlement and fraud are two very common words that constantly circulate through media. Both offenses involve dishonesty and financial deceit, often resulting in severe legal consequences. While the average person reading this isn’t going to be accused of embezzlement and defrauding people of billions of dollars, a lawyer can add a huge benefit to the outcome of your case. The Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer has a team of lawyers dedicated to the protection of your rights, and will use their expertise to defend you to the fullest extent of the law.
What is Embezzlement?
Embezzlement often takes place within the context of an employment or fiduciary relationship, where the embezzler has been entrusted with managing financial matters. It occurs when an individual legally obtains access to those funds and subsequently uses or converts them for their own purposes without authorization. While there may be federal laws pertaining to embezzlement, the state of Washington would charge it as Theft in the First, Second, or Third Degree depending on the amount of money that was embezzled.
Theft in the 1st Degree: If embezzlement amounts over $5,000.00, the crime would be charged as Theft in the First Degree. This offense is classified as a Class B Felony, which can carry up to 10 years in prison, and up to a $20,000.00 fine.
Theft in the 2nd Degree: If the amount of money that was misappropriated was between $750.00 and $5,000.00, it would be considered Theft in the Second Degree. This charge is a Class C Felony and can carry up to 5 years in prison, and up to $10,000.00 in fines.
Theft in the 3rd Degree: If the sum of money that was misused amounted to anything below $750.00, it would be prosecuted as Theft in the Third Degree. This crime is charged as a Gross Misdemeanor, and can carry up to 364 days in jail, and up to $5,000.00 in fines.
Most embezzlement cases are charged as Theft in the First Degree since they generally involve the theft of thousands of dollars. Additionally, there may be enhancements added to the charge depending on the circumstances of the case. Examples of when enhancements may be added is when the sum of the money embezzled was significant, taking advantage of a position of trust, or if the scheme to embezzle was planned out in a sophisticated manner or it ran a long time.
How Can We Help With Embezzlement Cases in Washington?
Embezzlement and fraud are complex white-collar crimes that can have severe legal ramifications. Understanding the distinctions between these offenses and the elements required for conviction is crucial for individuals facing charges. Seeking the guidance of a skilled criminal defense attorney is paramount to protect one’s rights and build a strong defense. With the assistance of an experienced attorney at the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer, individuals can navigate the complexities of the legal system and rest assured that their attorney will defend them fervently in a court of law.
Call the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer at (360) 334-6277 today and schedule your free consultation now to protect your freedom and future.