Kudos to Hartford Superior Court Judge David P. Gold

Judge gives prison time to employee who embezzled more than $150,000.00.

As reported in the Hartford Courant on Sunday, September 28, 2008, Judge Gold sentenced a local individual to eight months of prison followed by three years probation and 100 hours of community service. The individual was convicted of embezzling more than $150,000 from his employer through fictitious travel and expense reimbursements. The individual made restitution to his employer in the amount of $120,000, and the employer accepted that amount as full restitution. The fact is although the employer settled with the individual, the employer did not in fact receive the full amount of the theft, and suffered a loss of $30,000 plus expenses associated with investigating the matter. The article cites the judge as follows, “a non-prison sentence would send the wrong message – that you can steal from your employer and, if caught, pay back the money and do community service.” Exactly! As I often say, the fact that someone returned the stolen car does not undo the fact that they stole the car in the first place. As I see it, employee embezzlements and other financial crimes are on the rise, and lack of “perceived” consequences is contributing to the frequency. Often the victim receives no restitution, and even if the matter is pursued civilly through judgment, collection on the judgment is non-existent. This case and Judge Gold’s message hopefully starts a trend towards “actual” consequences for stealing from your employer, and starts to reduce the frequency of occurrence.