Articles Posted in Embezzlement


Most of us are familiar with terms like “theft” and “forgery” given that they immediately bring to mind the taking of something that does not belong to someone or making a misrepresentation in writing. When we hear the term “fraud”, we are often left confused by the exact meaning. 

Fraud, technically speaking, is defined as: “A knowing misrepresentation of the truth or concealment of a material fact to induce another to act to his or her detriment. Fraud includes any intentional or deliberate act to deprive another of property or money by guile, deception, or other unfair means.” In other words, fraud is wrongful deception intended to result in financial or personal gain.

As experienced Los Angeles white collar crime defense attorneys, we know that regardless of career or social standing, anyone can be accused of or indicted for a white collar crime. These offenses are generally those that are financially motivated, and typically do not involve violence. Still, the criminal penalties if convicted are often extremely harsh, and even life changing.

Anyone who is familiar with the reality show “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” is probably well aware of the fact that Joe and Teresa Giudice have been indicted in nearly 40 federal charges including wire and bankruptcy fraud, conspiracy to defraud lenders, and more. Charges like these can result in decades behind bars for those found guilty. Unfortunately, there are white collar crimes they may be unknowingly or at least not intentionally committed, such as failure to file a tax return. We are all humans, and mistakes can be made!

Various white collar crimes include:

While certainly not as serious as being indicted for a violent crime, many white collar crimes lead to serious criminal penalties for those convicted.  White collar crimes are generally related to financial matters, and involve no violence.  Whether you are an accounting clerk in charge of the company petty cash box or in a management position with a bank or financial institution, you could be accused of a crime.

Falsifying a loan application, neglecting to report all of your assets when filing bankruptcy, even failing to file a tax return could leave you facing criminal charges.  From highly visible celebrities to those working in a factory, literally anyone can find themselves being indicted for a crime.

Common White Collar Crimes in Los Angeles

44-year-old Kristin Davis, a Solana Beach executive who owned and ran Paradigm Management Group, is facing criminal charges in connection with allegedly embezzling about $900,000 from a homeowners association.  Paradigm Management Group managed the Simi Valley HOA Big Sky in 2008 and 2009, according to a statement made by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department on Monday September 9.

Davis closed down Paradigm shortly after the thefts were revealed in 2009, and later opened MK Management.  A dozen felony counts have been filed against Davis by Ventura County prosecutors, including insurance fraud and grand theft.

Melissa Hoff, former chief financial officer at Paradigm, also faces charges including conspiracy and grand theft, according to a news article at U-T San Diego.  The two women allegedly embezzled over $900,000 over a 1 1/2 year time period from the community homeowners’ association.  News reports indicate that detectives continue to investigate other associations which Davis managed and which may have lost money under her management.  Additional charges may be forthcoming according to the San Diego Reader.

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