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Category Archives: 46 Theft Pre-Charge Victories

Ms. T ran an HOA Company which represented many housing developments. She was accused of Embezzling $35,000 from the HOA by transferring funds into a personal account and altering the books. She had 7 people working for her business at the time when she was contacted by a private law firm who indicated they would be seeking Criminal Charges.

Once the pre-charge team became involved with the case, we contacted the private law firm to begin negotiations. In the meantime, they filed a Verified Complaint claiming Damages for Embezzlement by way of Common Law Fraud, Breach of Contract, and Conversion. They had also previously sent a Letter of Demand for an immediate accounting. During negotiations, it was clear that they were going to seek Criminal Charges regarding Embezzlement, Fraud Schemes and Theft. They also indicated that if a Civil Settlement was reached, they would consider the matter to be Non-Criminal and it would be concluded and Ms. T’s involvement would be deemed as poor accounting practices. Ultimately, we reached a Settlement Agreement of a payment of $35,000, and the matter was treated as a Civil Incident versus a Criminal Complaint. No charges were brought against Ms. T.

FELONY THEFT NOT CHARGED – State v. Mr. K (DMC No. 13863) (Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office DR No. 13-011995): A Yavapai County Sheriff’s Deputy came to Mr. K home indicating he was investigating a Theft per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-1802. Mr. K voluntarily went to the police department and participated in a post-Miranda interview. During this interview Mr. K made incriminating statements. After the interview, he was booked into custody and subsequently released. After being released, he contacted our office.

After retaining our office, it was discovered that the Yavapai County Attorney’s Office had “furthered” the case for additional information and was not going to be proceeding with the felony charges at that time. At this time, we met with our Pre-charge team and discussed the steps we could take under the circumstances. We determined that we would obtain a copy of the police report and then reach out to the Prosecutor’s office to try to ascertain a “misdemeanor compromise”, or something which would preclude felony charges from being filed.

After receiving a copy of the police report, we reached out to the County Yavapai Attorney’s Office regarding status of the case. After multiple calls to the County Attorney’s Office, in an attempt to speak with the reviewing attorney, it was discovered the case was still under investigation. Finally, fifteen months after retaining our office, we were able to speak with the assigned County Attorney, regarding their intentions with the case. He had indicated that the case had been sent back for additional information to the police, however, he had not heard back from the Officers. We discussed a potential financial compromise, however the Prosecutor indicated they do not normally do those. By the end to the conversation with the Prosecutor, he had agreed that he would not follow up with the Officer and would let the file sit. He indicated the only way that charges would potentially come is if the Officer recontacted him. No charges were ever filed.

NOT CHARGED | FRAUDULENT SCHEMES/INSURANCE FRAUD and THEFT ($158,000) – State v. Mr. S. (DMC No. 9815) (Scottsdale Police Department Investigated Contact No. ID14617/Allstate Insurance Company Investigated): Mr. and Mrs. S. were going through a contentious divorce, when Mrs. S. reported the theft of 16 paintings, numerous sterling silver items and other valuables stolen from her house.  She told the Detectives that she suspected that her husband had done it, as they were going through a divorce.   Her husband vehemently denied these claims, and an insurance claim was filed for $158,000. Allstate Insurance Company began investigating and we became involved in the case.  We were able to show that Mrs. S. had been seen by numerous witnesses selling paintings and other valuables to unknown parties around the Phoenix area.  In addition, there were no signs that Mr. S.’s bank account had increased, or any indicia of him committing the theft.  Ultimately, no charges were brought against Mr. S.

EMBEZZLEMENT/FRAUDULENT SCHEMES ($120,000), MONEY LAUNDERING, THEFT, FORGERY and VULNERABLE ADULT ABUSE all NOT CHARGED –State v. Ms. A (DMC No. 9212) (Apache Junction Police Department DR No. 090819003/Pinal County Attorney’s Office Investigated): Ms. A had become the care taker of a 93 year old woman for the last 8 years of her life. While she was working for the woman, she was given a car, and was also authorized to write checks for a total of $120,000 to herself. In addition, the woman had transferred title of her house to Ms. A’s name. Approximately 1 year after she had passed away, the relatives began looking in to all of the woman’s finances and found out that she had dementia. They claim that Ms. A had taken advantage of a Vulnerable Adult and had stolen all of her possessions.

When Apache Junction Police Department became involved, we immediately had Ms. A take a polygraph test. She passed with flying colors. We ultimately secured an agreement that the title of the house would be transferred back into the relatives’ names, and that the relatives would not be challenging the $120,000 or car that Ms. A had received as compensation for 7 years of care giver services. Ultimately, the Pinal County Attorney’s Office turned down all charges.

NOT CHARGED | FRAUDULENT SCHEMES ($84,000) THEFT and EMBEZZELMENT – State v. Ms. M. (DMC No. 8709) (Tempe Police Department DR08-094786): Ms. M. was involved in a family business with her sister and her mother.  Over the course of 12 years, the mother increased Ms. M.’s percentage of the profits, and had her conduct bookkeeping and sign “K1’s” for tax purposes.  It was discovered that Ms. M.’s mother owed Ms. M. and her sister upwards of $250,000, and they filed a civil lawsuit against their mother.  The mother then claimed that Ms. M. and her sister had been embezzling from her, and there was no agreement to increase percentages of the profit over the previous 12 years.  We conducted a “free talk” with Tempe Police Department, and claimed a polygraph was conducted on Ms. M. (in which she passed).  In addition, we dealt with a civil attorney who was working on Ms. M.’s behalf, and we were able to present additional evidence regarding Ms. M.’s innocence.  Although she was facing prison for allegedly embezzling $84,000, no charges were ever brought against Ms. M.

 

INSURANCE FRAUD ($59,000) AND FRAUDULENT SCHEMES NOT CHARGED – State v. Mr. G. (DMC No. 5236) (Arizona Department of Insurance/Arizona Attorney General’s Office Investigated): Mr. G. and his wife owned a company that installed glass for store front windows. Their controller had begun writing personal checks and embezzling from their company. She was doing this by forging Mr. G’s signature. Mr. and Mrs. G ultimately terminated the employee and filed claims with their insurance company. The insurance company and the Attorney General’s Office began investigating Mr. and Mrs. G because the checks had appeared to have been signed by them. In addition, the former Controller was falsely claiming that Mr. and Mrs. G had signed the checks and that they were committing fraud.

We were able to begin an investigation in which we went back to the Controllers former employers and ex-husband. They all indicated that she had stolen in the past and was a “thief” and “liar”. We also brought in a hand writing expert who proved that Mr. and Mrs. G had not signed the checks. This was all presented to the Department of Insurance and the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, and no charges were brought against Mr. and Mrs. G. Their former Controller, however, was charged with multiple crimes.

EMBEZZLEMENT/FRAUDULENT SCHEMES ($40,000) and THEFT NOT CHARGED – State v. Ms. A (DMC No. 8089) (Mesa Police Department DR No. 2006-0130457): Mr. A worked for an armored car company that would deliver deposits to multiple banks. It was not uncommon for one truck to meet up with a second truck and transfer all deposits going to bank A to the second truck. This would save time by having only one truck go to bank A, instead of two trucks. After transfers were made, both drivers were to count the money to verify that the proper amount had been transferred between trucks.

At some point it had been determined that over $40,000 had gone missing from Mr. A’s truck after transfers had been made. We sat down with Detectives and allowed them to conduct a Polygraph on Mr. A (which he passed). We also pointed out that there were numerous points where the money could have been taken, and they agreed. They were interviewing multiple people along the chain of transactions. After we sat down and conducted a “Free Talk” with the Detective and Mr. A, it was determined that there was insufficient evidence to charge Mr. A, and no charges were brought. Originally, Mr. A would have been facing prison time.

INSURANCE FRAUD ($23,000) and THEFT of MEANS of TRANSPORTATION NOT CHARGED; FALSE REPORTING DISMISSED – State v. Mr. C (DMC No. 8485) (Surprise City Court CR07-01028/Surprise Police Department DR 07096356): Mr. C had gone to Las Vegas to get married, and when he got back his truck was missing. It was found by the Peoria Police Department burned out in the desert. This was then reported to the Surprise Police Department, and Mr. C had filed a stolen vehicle report. The police and insurance company became suspicious and interviewed a friend of Mr. C’s who stated that Mr. C had another friend named “Greg” steal the vehicle and burn it so he could file an insurance claim in order to recover $23,000.

We became involved in the case, and dealt directly with the Detective on Mr. C’s behalf. The Detective filed a direct complaint into the Surprise City Court for False Reporting. We ultimately got this charged Dismissed. In addition, the Detective routed his file over to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office to be reviewed for charges of Insurance Fraud and Theft of Means of Transportation. Due to our intervention, no charges were brought against Mr. C. If he would have been charged, he could have done time in prison.

INSURANCE FRAUD/AUTO THEFT NOT CHARGED – State v. Mr. P. (DMC No. 8525) (Arizona Department of Insurance Investigated): Mr. P had purchased a 1 year old Chevy 4×4 truck with lots of amenities. He had the truck for several months, when it was stolen. He reported the theft to his insurance company and filed a claim. He later received a call from Police stating the vehicle was found in Mexico. When he called his insurance company to inform them, they stated that they were already aware of this and felt that he was involved in the theft of his own vehicle in order to file an insurance claim.

After receiving a letter from the Department of Insurance Investigator, he contacted our office. We were able to show that there was no motive for Mr. P. to steal the vehicle (i.e. He was not in financial hardship, nor was there a mechanical problem with the vehicle), and that he was willing to take a lie detector test. After all documentation was forwarded to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, we met with the charging Attorney who agreed that no charges would be filed against Mr. P. We also sent a scathing letter to the Insurance company indicated that if they pursued this further that they would be sued for “bad faith”. Mr. P. has no criminal history.

 

EXTORTION and THEFT NOT CHARGED –State v. Mr. G. (DMC No. 9544) (Peoria Police Department Investigated): Mr. G. worked for an International Insurance company as a Certified Safety Professional. He was terminated from the company due to various personal problems, and then he began leaving various voicemails and emails threatening to harm the company’s business. These threats were based upon releasing confidential information to clients and exposing the company to ridicule. The company then called the Peoria Police Department in order to have Mr. G. charged with Extortion pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute 13-1804. Specifically, they were claiming that he threatened to “expose a secret or an asserted fact, whether true or false, tending to subject them to hatred, contempt or ridicule or to impair their credit or business”, unless he received his job back or a larger severance package. We were able to contact the company’s corporate counsel and inform them that Mr. G. suffered from various anxiety disorders. They agreed not to press charges, and to offer Mr. G. free counseling under their Human Resources department, even though he had already been terminated. Mr. G. was never charged, does not have a criminal record, and is now very happy working for another company.

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