Earlier this month, we talked about how an individual who is accused of embezzlement can also be charged with tax evasion if he or she does not report the stolen money on his or her taxes. Sometimes, Minnesota prosecutors won’t charge someone with embezzlement, but just with tax evasion, which is what happened in this case. But, if someone truly did embezzle money, why wouldn’t the government hold him or her accountable?
It is possible that the government would refuse to prosecute because it did not have sufficient or credible evidence of embezzlement. Unfortunately, filing charges of tax evasion and throwing around accusations of theft from an employer will come back to haunt an individual for the rest of his or her career. Even if this Oakdale man is not jailed for his supposed crimes, he will have to deal with the negative ramifications of being labeled a thief.
The 55-year-old man from Oakdale had his first court appearance earlier this week. Because tax evasion is a federal crime, he appeared before a federal district court judge, charged with a single count of tax evasion. Prosecutors claim that he had $74,473 in income that he failed to record on his taxes. Though he will not face any criminal charges for theft, the prosecutors have named where they believe the money to have come from — Minnesota Hockey.
Police were originally called after an official with the state organization reported some oddities with the Oakdale branch’s accounts. Apparently someone at the bank the hockey association uses contacted the official to tell him or her that there were checks being written to a single individual.
Embezzlement is a serious crime and it is important to only charge people with the crime when there is considerable evidence of their guilt. At the same time, just an informal accusation can be enough to destroy a career and a reputation. Throwing around claims of theft can be just as dangerous as the actual charge.
Source: Pioneer Press, “Oakdale man has unpaid taxes on money embezzled from Minnesota Hockey group, federal charge says,” David Hanners and Elizabeth Mohr, Dec. 6, 2012