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Guilty plea entered in trust-fund theft crime

Terms such as theft often bring to mind robbery scenarios for residents of Newport News, Virginia. Most residents would never thing of breaking into another person's home and walking away with items or money, but when individuals are put in a position of trust regarding funds, it can be difficult to resist temptation. In some cases, those who commit theft crimes are trying to make ends meet, though that is not a defense or valid reason to take what doesn't belong to them.

One man recently pleaded guilty to embezzling over $144,000 from a fund over which he was a trustee. According to reports, the man, along with his wife, set up a trust fund to manage donations to help pay for medical care for a sick child. The child has Fanconi anemia, which affects his bone marrow.

As early as 2008, said the Commonwealth's Attorney, money began to go missing from the fund. Investigation showed that the man was funneling money from the fund to his personal account from 2008 through 2012. Reports have not indicated what the man was doing with the funds.

According to court records, the man pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges in the case. Though the amount of fund embezzled was quite large, the man made a deal to pay the money back with interest as part of the plea. He presented the check to the court on Aug. 12, and the family reports that they are happy with the outcome of the case.

Individuals who do succumb to temptation when placed in authority over funds may be able to reduce sentencing by admitting to wrongdoing and making arrangements to return funds. In any case where theft allegations exist, it's important to understand all aspects of the case before moving forward with a decision.

Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch, "Trustee who stole $144,000 from fund to help sick Dinwiddie boy pleads guilty" Mark Bowes, Aug. 12, 2014

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