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$15 million embezzlement case in Texas sees guilty plea

On Behalf of | Jun 24, 2020 | Firm News

White collar criminal defense tends to involve complex topics of financial fraud. In the case of embezzlement, one party gives another party their money alongside a duty to take care of it in an agreed-upon manner — and that other party deals with it improperly. The important caveat here is intent. Bungling money as a poor manager and siphoning money for personal gain are two very different things. 

WFAA news in Dallas Texas reports that a Red Oak couple pled guilty to over $15 million worth of embezzlement with retirement accounts in their care. 

Swindling the savers 

The married couple, co-owners of Vantage Benefits Administrators, managed retirement funds as a third party. Prosecutors accuse them of using at least 20 employer retirement plans under their care to take advantage of at least 1000 plan participants. The wife allegedly used this misappropriated money to pay for new wood floors as well as the electric and carpeting for a new property in Red Oak. She allegedly wrote a check for a tractor as well. 

When confronted about this spending, the husband did nothing. Reports allege he was aware of at least one-third of the embezzled money. 

The fallout of fraud 

The wife faces two charges of theft from an employer benefit plan as well as one charge of aggravated identity theft. The husband faces two charges of aiding and abetting. It is unclear what their sentence is yet but she could face as much as 12 years in prison while he could face up to ten. On top of restitution, they may face a $500,000 fine. 

Crime doesn’t pay, and in these situations it may be best to contact an attorney to clear up any confusion regarding cases and defenses like this.