Thursday, February 10, 2011

Theft, Embezzlement, and the Bull Dogs

As a "Double Dawg," (i.e. a proud graduate of the University of Georgia, both undergraduate and law school), I try to keep up with all the "goins' on" at my old alma mater.  Usually, I enjoy reading about the University of Georgia Bull Dogs football team.  But today, I read news reports about a new criminal case at the school.  According to the reports, a former university business manager has been charged with racketeering and theft by conversion.  (In Georgia, theft by conversion is the statutory name for what is frequently called embezzlement in other states.  Did you know that the 50 states often have different names for many of  the same generic crimes?)
In this case, the news reports indicate that, between 2005 and 2009, the business manager, (at the University's Carl Vinson Institute of Government), embezzled about $220,000 by allegedly submitting bogus petty cash disbursement receipts while utilizing fictitious names.  As a former prosecutor, (and currently, as an Augusta, Georgia criminal defense attorney), it would appear that this may be yet another case in which the victim institution failed to have adequate checks and balances in place to prevent theft.  In my experience, as we have discussed here before, embezzlement is generally a crime of opportunity.  Offenders can often get away with it, often over lengthy periods of time, simply because no one is looking over their shoulders.
Here's hoping that the next news reports I read about UGA are happier ones dealing with my beloved Bull Dawgs!  Go Dawgs!

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