An Appropriate Sentence Long Over Due For Financial Crimes

Spending months of time, energy and funds investigating an employee theft and embezzlement, only to have the individual responsible receive a non-jail sentence, can be very frustrating to the victim of the crime.  Often the decision to pursue criminal charges is based in part on the likelihood of whether the police will investigate it, the prosecutor will prosecute it, and the likely sentence the suspect could receive.  More often the accused offers to settle the matter in lieu of being arrested, and based on the jurisdiction and many other factors, it is in the victim’s best interest to collect their restitution and forego the criminal charges.

It is not uncommon to hear that the jails have limited capacity, and the space is needed to incarcerate the violent offenders.  However, the message has been out for some time that financial crime suspects may never see the inside of a jail cell, which could play a large part in why we are seeing so many of these crimes with the amounts stolen reaching staggering amounts.

One judge in Houston, Texas delivered a sentence to Daniel Mireles this past week after being found guilty of stealing more than $250,00, a sentence I have been waiting to see for years.  Mr. Mireles has to walk the busy streets of Houston one weekend day each week holding a sign acknowledging he stole $250,000 – one day a week for SIX years.

Mr. Mireles’ wife, Eloise, was also convicted and is serving six months.  Once she completes her jail sentence, she will also have to walk with her sign for SIX years.

Another interesting element to this story is that the Mireles’ stole the funds from the Crime Victims’ Funds, where Mrs. Mireles worked in the district attorney’s office.

Cruel and unusual punishment – holding a lightweight sign out in public in lieu of being jailed – I applaud Judge Fine for trying to start curbing the growing trend of employees stealing from their employers.

Here’s a link to the story:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1319706/Judge-orders-Daniel-Mireles-wear-thief-sign-SIX-years-Houston.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

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11 comments on “An Appropriate Sentence Long Over Due For Financial Crimes
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  4. pikavippi says:

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  5. Bill Moran says:

    As an editor, I’ve worked with many CPAs in presenting their case studies of firms and clients who have experienced fraud perpetrated by employees or by outside contacts. Many CPAs involved in investigating fraud in client firms lament that after reporting fraud whether it took place inside or not that clients were unlikely to pursue punishment for the perpetrtor. The reason is they fear public knowledge of their being victimized will reflect badly on them or their business.
    Yvette Frusciante, CPA/CFF, writes of the implications of this kind of response to crime. Her article” Moral Lapse Versus the Psychopathic Fraudster: Implications for Our Justice System” appears in the Stevenson University Forensics Journal. The journal is published by the School of Graduate and Professional Services (1-877-468-6852l

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