Kansas postmaster found guilty of embezzlement
A federal jury has found the former postmaster for the small town of Whiting, Kansas, guilty of making a false writing and embezzlement of public funds. These offenses, both white collar crimes, resulted in a shortage of over $7,000 in the post office’s account.
An auditor discovered the shortage of money, which occurred while the postmaster was responsible for running the Whiting post office. This discrepancy in bookkeeping led to the charges against the postmaster. Because the man was an employee of the U.S. government and he allegedly embezzled public funds, he was tried in a federal court.
The penalties for the conviction have not been specified in this case. However, federal law provides for specific penalties when the embezzlement of public money is involved. If the amount misappropriated exceeds $1,000, which it did in this instance, a guilty defendant can be fined, imprisoned or both.
White collar crimes, such as embezzlement, fraud, insider trading, identity theft and forgery are often classified as felonies and the penalties for conviction can be considerable. But the mere allegation of committing one of these crimes does not automatically indicate guilt.
Often, white collar crimes are committed by otherwise law abiding citizens. In this tough economic time, some people have been driven to commit acts otherwise outside of their character. Everyone deserves a fair trial.