Fraud in Palm Beach County School District
In the state of Florida, fraud is charged as a very serious crime. A person who commits fraud can be charged with anything from a third-degree felony to a first-degree felony depending on the amount of money taken by fraudulent means. Unfortunately, fraud and theft commonly happen in all areas of life. A story about a Sun coast High School band leader made the news recently after he turned himself in for fraudulently using school funds for his personal expenses.
Fraud in Palm Beach County
According to an article in WPTV News, Ernest Brown, 51, turned himself into authorities yesterday evening. The high school band leader had been indicted on charges of fraud and misconduct for allegedly using school funds for himself, his family, and his friends to travel to Europe. He has since been released on a $6,000 bond.
These trips were intended to benefit high school students. Brown was able to hide his fraudulent activity by using funds from other school accounts, according to the article. It was reported that Brown created false documents showing that certain students had met their financial obligations for these trips to Europe when in fact that had not. The grand jury stated that he used his position as a public servant to “deprive non-band students use of their own funds.”
Palm Beach County School District Under Fire
This case has led several people in the Palm Beach County community, including the grand jury itself, to question the care the district takes over its financial accounts. Because this is not the first incident in which a Palm Beach County school has been under financial investigation, the grand jury stated that the district should “re-assess and improve” its oversight over financial accounts.
According to the article, school officials said the district has fully cooperated with the state attorney’s office and is reviewing discipline issues at this time.
Palm Beach County Fraud Lawyer
If you have been accused of committing fraud or theft in Palm Beach County, you are going to need the assistance of a criminal defense lawyer. An experienced lawyer should have a working relationship with the prosecution and will make sure that you can resolve your case by at least paying restitution. There are ways you can help yourself through this situation and it all starts with contacting a criminal defense lawyer.