Leesburg Businessman is Accused of Embezzling Company Funds
The Leesburg firm, Simms Showers, LLP, has again taken on a challenging, yet large-scale criminal defense case. This time the case involves the alleged mishandling of corporate funds. Leesburg businessman, Vic DeAnthony, was recently charged with using company funds from his engineering firm to the tune of approximately $3 million.
The complaint alleges that DeAnthony used company monies for personal items, such as luxury decorations for his Leesburg home, and “shopping sprees.” While allegations are damning, DeAnthony’s attorney, Caleb Kershner, reports maintains that he had no intent to permanently deprive the company of funds. While the actions may have been poorly conceived and perhaps a bit foolhardy, no criminal action was intended. While public outrage is heightened following the housing bubble and economic downturn of the last decade, the crime of embezzlement is often misunderstood.
Types of federal charges for embezzlement
Federal sentencing guidelines are broadly broken down by the amount misappropriated. Such crimes are classified misdemeanors until the amount exceeds $100,000, at which point they become felonies. When cases, such as DeAnthony’s, involve large sums of money, defendants can be charged with up to 20 years imprisonment. There are further guidelines that offer even longer sentences where the sum is increased. Therefore, DeAnthony has a very difficult case ahead, but given his lack of intent and excellent legal team, he is hopeful and remains optimistic.
Embezzlement Suits on the Rise Nationally
According to a recent report released by Forbes, misappropriation of company assets accounts for only 14 percent of all corporate fraud. The report further states in detail that:
“Very few frauds result in SEC enforcement action; many more are adjudicated by class actions. Most are recorded only in stakeholder disappointment, large price drops, bond defaults and insolvency.”
Therefore, as popular opinion continues to sway toward holding corporate executives accountable for their actions, we can expect more lawsuits being brought against businesspeople, many times including those who simply make honest errors or misjudgments about how to best use company funds. With increasingly draconian federal sentencing statutes and ambitious legislators and SEC investigators, we will likely continue to see heavy penalties being applied to executives who step out of line. While this may seem like the right approach, it does not change the fact that when an employee, whether mid-management or corporate executive, is accused of violating federal laws regarding fraud and embezzlement, they should consult a skilled team of white collar criminal defense lawyers who know how to take on government prosecutors and offer practical and competent advice to minimize the damage.
Despite the public sentiments concerning embezzlement, every defendant has a right to counsel. If you are charged with a white-collar crime in Virginia, you deserve the best defense you can get. The attorneys of Simms Showers, LLP know how to fight for your rights. Call for a consultation today.