Do we have grounds and what kind of attorney do we need if owners insist that my spouse was the only person who could have taken the money? 6 Answers as of January 20, 2014

My spouse worked as a manager at a small business, with a group of 9 owners. She was charged with theft of $5,700 and arrested. Before court, the owners claimed she stole over $100,000 and the charges were upgraded to Class 1 Felony. The "books" provided by the owners has numerous discrepancies. At the next appearance, the owners claimed $120,000. The next date, $150,000. Then $160,000, and finally, after 2 years of court dates, they claimed $165,000 total stolen. The prosecution felt $50,000 was legitimately missing. The owners claimed there was more and refused to meet with the prosecution for months. I happen to know for a fact (via firsthand witnessing) that many of the owners are embezzling each other. Furthermore, I watched as they paid vendors in cash from the safe. Additionally, there were many instances where they neglected to log invoices (this was a gas station, and in 10/11, my spouse showed me fuel supplier invoices from 3/11 & 4/11 that had not been logged yet). Ultimately, the prosecution wanted to finish the case and offered my spouse a plea of Class 2 Felony theft, $50k restitution with $10k up front and no jail. The owners insisted on jail time and my spouse had to do 30 days in County Jail. Her option was to take it to trial, cough up another $25k to $40k for legal costs up front and "roll the dice" on what a jury would say, hoping she wouldn't have to do 15 years in a State Penn. OR take the plea. Her attorney advised her that all the money we had paid for legal defense had been eaten away via the "back & forth" game the "victim" employers were playing. We had ZERO money remaining (including having lost a home in the process due to the extreme amounts of money I had to borrow from my retired father...my choice was "keep paying my Dad because I might need more, but fall behind on my mortgage and lose the house.

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Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
You sure are missing the point. never did you say your wife was not guilty of embezzlement. I assume she was and the only question was how much. you need a good criminal atty and you need the help of a forensic accountant who might be able to get to the bottom of the real loss.. No one gives a hoot how much all this costs you.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 1/20/2014
Lombardi Law Firm
Lombardi Law Firm | Steve Lombardi
You never said what you did, did you take the plea or not? Or are you trying to decide whether you should take the plea? Which is it?
Answer Applies to: Iowa
Replied: 1/20/2014
Pius Joseph A Professional Law Corp. | Pius Joseph
You really need some forensic experts and also will have to subpoena vendors that have been paid in cash. You need an aggressive criminal defense attorney to handle this. Of course trials are risky. If she has not committed the crime and if you can prove the innocence ,should go to trial. Did you have a change of life style while she was working? (fancy cars, splurge etc?) If not, if owners are lying may be need to take them on direct attack.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/20/2014
Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
First, you need a criminal lawyer. If you can defend your case and win because the employer could not "prove" that it was your wife, then you need to find a lawyer to sue them for defamation of character and for abuse of process, infliction of mental distress. I would bet that one of the bosses has been stealing money and is going to try and stick it to your wife.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 1/17/2014
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
You gave a lengthy narrative, but I can't tell what the question is.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 1/20/2014
    Candiano Law Office
    Candiano Law Office | Charles J. Candiano
    She convicted herself in criminal court. This means there is nothing you can do. If she filed suit, it would be dismissed, with prejudice. Failure to pay the restitution is a probation violation and will cause her to be incarcerated. Once you sign a plea, it's over.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 1/17/2014
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