Former Naples CEO Faces Embezzlement Charges

A Michigan newspaper reported earlier this year the federal indictment of 68-year-old Alfred W. Lenz, former CEO of a Florida-based resort community. Now he faces three counts of wire fraud for embezzling over $2 million from his former employer and spending it on real estate as well as other personal expenses. In a position of trust as the company’s CEO, Lenz concealed multiple transactions while handling the company’s financial books, according to the report. If found guilty, Lenz faces up to 20 years in federal prison for each count for which he is charged. Embezzlement can occur in a number of ways and an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney can provide the best legal representation for anyone accused.

Penalties of Embezzlement Charges

A type of theft crime, embezzlement occurs when the property of another is fraudulently taken by a person who obtained possession of property through a position of trust. Federal law covers certain types of embezzlement and, although usually handled by the state, other federal crimes, such as tax evasion and mail fraud, are often accompanied by embezzlement, giving the federal government the power to prosecute. Florida, like many other jurisdictions, has a general theft statute that encompasses the crimes of embezzlement, false pretenses and larceny. The degree of the crime depends upon the type and value of the property. Penalties can range from a $500 fine and/or 60 days in jail for a second-degree misdemeanor, such as petit theft, to a fine up to $10,000 and/or up to 30 years in prison for a first-degree felony, such as grand theft.

Dual Prosecution Possible

Once such example of a dual state and federal-level convictions is that of Florida resident and former CFO of an Orlando-area farm company Gary Williams, who was handed down concurrent sentences of 8 years in federal prison for tax evasion and mail fraud as well as 12 years in state prison for grand theft. An employee of the company for two decades before achieving the position of CFO, Williams falsified checks and made large cash withdrawals from company accounts totaling $15 million, which he spent on extravagant parties, lavish vacations and luxury items. Although dual federal and state prosecutions are rare – as some state laws prohibit multi-level prosecution – they are possible realities for some defendants depending on the jurisdiction.

Florida Criminal Defense Attorney Available

If you or someone you know has been accused of embezzlement or any other property theft crime, contact a Florida criminal defense attorney today for your initial consultation. The law office of Carl H. Lida, P.A. has decades of experience with complex criminal cases at both the state and federal trial level protecting the rights of the accused, and will meticulously analyze your case. Call (954) 472-5001 today to schedule your initial consultation.

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