What is an Organized Scheme to Defraud?
Fraud occurs in just about every aspect of life that involves monetary transactions. In many cases, fraud occurs in organizations where the treasurer, or person responsible for organizing earned and paid revenues, is aligned with the person allegedly stealing money. Most of the time when the scheme unravels, both parties are prosecuted for organizing a scheme to defraud.
Fraud in Palm Beach County Schools
Two men who are former employees of the Palm Beach County school district are facing theft and fraud charges. According to a WPTV News report, former part-time adult education teacher Richard Russo, 63, was arrested on charges of grand theft and official misconduct. Administrators at the school became suspicious that he was submitting payroll sheets for hours he had not worked, according to the probable cause affidavit.
The other man involved, former Congress Middle School treasurer Carlton L. Newton was also arrested and charged with grand theft and organized scheme to defraud. A school district audit discovered $13,949 missing from the school’s internal accounts, prompting immediate suspicion.
The district’s accounting department found the discrepancies in the accounts. Newton resigned shortly before the accounting department called the auditors. In March, the school district forwarded the results of its audit to the state attorney’s office and asked prosecutors to file criminal charges against Newton, according to WTPV News.
WPTV News reported that:
An investigation found that “$11,988 in cash can clearly be shown as missing and stolen by bookkeeper Carlton Newton,” according to the probable cause affidavit. The affidavit said that Newton admitted to taking cash to pay his bills.
Fraud Criminal Defense
Being convicted of an organized scheme to defraud is a felony punishable by large fines, time in prison, and restitution in most cases. If you have ever been accused of organizing a scheme to defraud, you need to contact a criminal defense lawyerr for a consultation. A scheme to defraud is defined as a systematic, ongoing series of actions intended to defraud one or more persons, or with intent to obtain property from one or more persons by false or fraudulent pretenses, representations. This is a very serious crime that can usually be resolved if the prosecution settles for restitution.
A criminal defense lawyer is the strongest investment you can make at this point because you need fair representation in any criminal case, especially those that have significant evidence that can be used against you, like discrepancies in company accounts.