A Michigan man involved in fundraising activities for a youth baseball team is facing up to 50 years in prison for allegedly embezzling thousands of dollars. The severity of the potential punishment shows how seriously anyone who is ever charged with embezzlement should take the situation.
The Detroit News reports that authorities claim the defendant took more than $20,000 raised for the Detroit Metro Stars youth baseball team between 2012 and 2014. The money was raised at so-called “millionaire parties,” which are casino-style events where attendees gamble and keep a small portion of their winnings. The rest goes to the charity hosting the party.
The Detroit Metro Stars held 32 such millionaire parties, featuring poker, between 2012 and 2013. The defendant’s exact connection to the team or the fundraiser events is not clear from the Detroit News article. He has been charged with five counts of felony embezzlement of between $1,000 and $20,000 from a nonprofit organization. This theoretically could result in a prison sentence of 50 years, and a fine of either $15,000, or triple the amount embezzled.
Few details of the case against the defendant are available, so it is difficult to assess the strength of the prosecution’s claims. Whenever someone is charged with a crime, it is worth remembering that the burden is on prosecutors to prove the person’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and that an arrest or indictment is not the same thing as a conviction.
Meanwhile, the best way to ensure that your rights are not violated by the police or in court is to enlist the aid of an experienced defense attorney.