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Embezzlement – No. 1 Financial Crime of Opportunity

Posted in Misc Crime August 11th, 2008 @ 3:01 pm

Embezzlement may be considered as a white-collar crime, however, any way you look at it, embezzlement is just plain stealing. The definition of embezzlement is the fraudulent appropriation by a person for his own use of property or money entrusted to their care but owned by someone else.

For more than 30 years, people have been stealing from their employers or even financial institutions. A clerk or cashier can slip a few dollars here and there or an entrusted accountant writes a check or two to pay a bogus invoice. This all begins because a person may want to cover a small, short-term financial need even if they intend to give the money back.

Recently, the Minnesota Sun Newspaper reported that a Minnetonka businessman who co-owns Sela Roofing was charged Aug. 5 with numerous federal crimes for allegedly embezzling $600,000 from his business partner and hiding it from taxation. Amit Yitzhak Sela was charged in federal court in Minneapolis with one count of conspiracy, two counts of mail fraud, two counts of tax evasion, three counts of filing a false tax return and one count of procuring a false tax return. He owns half of Sela Roofing, a company based in St. Louis Park with offices in White Bear Lake and Brooklyn Park. If convicted, he could serve as many as five years in prison on the conspiracy count; five years on each tax evasion count; three years on each false-tax- return count; and three years on the procuring count.

He also conspired with Abdullah S. Noaman, Jr., 43 of Shakopee. The federal indictment alleges that from September 2001 through September 2004, Amit Sela and Noaman devised and executed a scheme to embezzle money from Sela Roofing’s other co-owner with fraudulent invoices and then hide the money from the IRS and Minnesota Department of Revenue. They contracted with several vendors to do work for Sela personally and had these vendors falsify addresses on invoices to say the work was done for Sela Roofing Company. In addition, Noaman wrote checks from his business account to pay Sela’s personal expenses, including credit card bills, yard work, house cleaning, vehicle payments, utilities, boat storage, swimming pool payments, interior decorating and jewelry.

The IRS-Criminal Investigation Division led this investigation and said that customers of the roofing company weren’t affected by this embezzlement scheme. The initial court date set is August 19th.

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