Criminal statutes in California authorize enhanced penalties for felony fraud convictions. White-collar crimes involving large amounts of money or property could result in felony charges. This is just one of many reasons to act swiftly to protect your rights if you suspect that you are under investigation for offenses like money laundering, embezzlement or identity theft. Although such actions do not cause anyone physical harm, the criminal justice system can prosecute financial crimes harshly. The allegations against two people recently arrested in San Diego County illustrate the risks if evidence of misappropriation of funds emerges.
Two siblings accused of stealing from real estate company
After a real estate company filed a complaint with the local sheriff’s department in 2021, authorities conducted a two-year investigation of an 86-unit apartment manager and her brother. She had been a long-time employee of the real estate company, and investigators allegedly collected evidence that she, in conjunction with her brother, altered accounting records. They suspect that she diverted rent money from residents for her own use, and her brother allegedly assisted with obscuring financial records.
After they were taken into custody the court set bail for each defendant at $500,000. They are facing several white-collar crime charges, including:
- Identity theft
- Money laundering
- Grand theft
Decades in prison possible
Investigators claim that the two people took more than $1 million over the course of many years. The embezzlement might have begun as early as 2007. Their multiple felony charges now place them in jeopardy of each serving over 20 years in prison. Convictions on all counts could yield prison sentences of 22 years and penalty enhancements might add another five years.