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Pittsburgh Criminal Lawyer > > White Collar Crimes > Pittsburgh Man Pleads Guilty To Embezzling Money From Disabled Veterans

Pittsburgh Man Pleads Guilty To Embezzling Money From Disabled Veterans


The first thing that comes to mind when most people hear the word “embezzlement” is a C-suite employee drawing checks on his employer’s account and making them payable to a shell corporation owned by the C-suite employee himself or one of his accomplices.  The charge of embezzlement can apply under less glamorous circumstances, too.  Not all victims of embezzlement are wealthy, and not all defendants facing embezzlement charges were on intimate terms with the alleged victims of embezzlement.  Likewise, even though the cases that make the news involve the embezzlement of millions of dollars, you can still be charged with embezzlement if the amount of money that you allegedly mishandled was much more modest.  If you are being accused of embezzling money from the intended beneficiaries of your work, rather than from your employer, contact a Pittsburgh white collar crime lawyer.

How Is Embezzlement Different From Plain Old Fraud?

The definitions of several financial crimes overlap considerably, which is why many defendants get charged with more than one white collar offense in connection to the same incident.  For example, theft is when you take money or property from the legal owner without the legal owner’s permission.  Fraud is when you get money from someone only because of misleading statements that you have made; the person knows that he or she is granting you access to the money, but you have misled the person about where the money is going.  Pursuant to section 3927, embezzlement occurs when the victim has willingly granted the defendant access to the victim’s money or financial details but reasonably expects that the defendant will not make any transactions without this victim’s permission, but the defendant breaches this implicit or explicit agreement and uses the money without the victim’s knowledge or consent.

In the News

In April 2020, Corey Mizell of Pittsburgh began working as a cashier at a Veterans Affairs hospital.  His job duties were to deposit the veterans’ benefits checks of patients; if the patients wanted to make withdrawals, they would visit Mizell’s office, and he would withdraw the money and give it to them.  By the time he resigned from the job in the summer of 2021, Mizell had withdrawn about $17,000 in unauthorized transactions and kept the money for himself.  Authorities first found out about the case when the sister of a recently deceased veteran was reviewing her late brother’s finances and found transactions that she considered suspicious.  She told police that, at the time of the transactions, her brother was too ill to have authorized them.  An investigation revealed a pattern; the victims could not have authorized Mizell’s withdrawals because, at the time, their health was too poor to request financial transactions, or else they were under COVID-19 isolation, and therefore they could not have gone to Mizell’s office.  Mizell, 51, could face up to 20 years in prison; his sentencing hearing is scheduled for March.

Contact Gary E. Gerson About Financial Crime Cases

A criminal defense lawyer can help you if you are being accused of embezzlement.  Contact the law offices of Gary E. Gerson in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania about your case.



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