Many people in this country are required by law to pay taxes on their income, personal property and individual purchases, often both at the federal, state and local levels. Some people may question how their tax payments are actually used. Unfortunately, officials in one Missouri county claim that a county tax collector was stealing payments. She has recently pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the embezzlement accusations.
Police say that the woman began stealing from the county starting in Sept. 2015. She is accused of taking money over 100 different occasions. According to reports, she deposited taxpayer funds into personal bank accounts and hid the theft by transferring funds from a variety of different accounts.
Law enforcement officials began an investigation when they were notified about suspicious activity by bank officials. After officials met with a prosecuting attorney, the latter spoke with the sheriff’s department; the 59-year-old woman, who served as tax collector for almost 20 years, immediately resigned. She recently pleaded guilty to a single count of stealing from an organization that receives federal funds.
Missouri prosecutors have vowed to seek a “significant prison sentence,” and the former collector could spend over four years in prison in addition to paying restitution. Often, cases involving accusations of embezzlement are complicated and have significant consequences. In certain scenarios, a person facing such accusations may opt to plead guilty if they feel that there is sufficient evidence for a conviction. An attorney with experience with such cases can help defendants facing such accusations carefully weigh their options and choose the most appropriate course for their individual circumstances.