Bookkeeper Avoids Embezzlement Conviction After Forensic Review
The bookkeeper for a local restaurant chain retained the Lento Law Firm's Criminal Defense Team after her arrest on embezzlement charges. The restaurant chain's owner had grown suspicious of our client's cash counts and bank deposits after the chain's receipts and profits declined, even though business seemed busier than ever. The owner attempted his own estimates and reconstruction of receipts against deposits, based on which he took his suspicions to the police, who obtained the embezzlement charges. Our Criminal Defense Team retained a forensic accountant to review the restaurant's financial records, which detectives had secured. The prosecution had not yet done any financial review. Our forensic accountant confirmed that receipts and profit seemed in line with other business records and industry standards. Our forensic accountant further discerned the rise in costs and reduction in consumer spending that would account for the decrease in profits. We also developed evidence that our client's personal financial accounts and circumstances had in no way improved, indeed just the opposite. The prosecutor abandoned the charge, and the court dismissed it after the owner withdrew his complaint based on our forensic accountant's review and our client's financial profile.
Physician's Assistant Defends Insurance Fraud Charges on Lack of Intent Defense
A physician's assistant retained the Lento Law Firm's Criminal Defense Team after her arrest on insurance fraud charges. Our client had suffered the loss of substantial clothing, furnishings, and other personal property in a home kitchen fire. The fire had not seriously damaged the home but had ruined many items from smoke damage. Our client's careless preparation of property inventories and values led the insurance company to take our client's examination under oath. Our client, still unrepresented, had been so nervous and done so poorly on the examination that the company had sought and obtained criminal charges. Our forensic review of our client's initial submissions confirmed their generally inaccurate and arguably inflated form. But our strategic approach focused on our client's lack of intent. She had no demonstrable motivation to increase her insurance recovery and every reason not to commit a crime of dishonesty that could affect her medical license. The insurance company withdrew its complaint after a mediated resolution of our client's insurance claim. The prosecutor then agreed to seek the court's dismissal of the charges. With that dismissal, our client had no criminal offense to report to licensing officials.