On April 25, it was reported that a Massachusetts woman admitted to stealing more than $700,000 from her employer. The 39-year-old defendant spent the money on a boat, private-school tuition and a lavish lifestyle.

According to the court documents, the woman was an administrative manager for a real estate company. She was responsible for handling and depositing checks as well as requesting checks to pay for business-related expenses. The documents claimed that she used the flaws in the accounting and auditing system to her advantage. Between October 2011 and October 2015, she was accused of requesting checks payable to a fake name. She then endorsed those checks and deposited them in a separate bank account that she had access to.

The woman pleaded guilty in federal court to two counts of wire fraud. As a result, she was sentenced to two years in prison. Once she is released, she will have two years of probation. Additionally, she was also required to pay restitution in the amount of more than $600,000.

When people are charged with this type of white collar crime, the consequences they may face could be severe if they are convicted. However, the criminal charges may still be challenged in a variety of ways. For example, a criminal defense attorney could argue that the defendant did not have the required specific intent to defraud, which is an essential element that the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt. In some cases, this type of challenge could be enough to lead the prosecutor to sign off on a plea agreement that would result in a lesser penalty.

Source: Weymouth Patch, “Weymouth Woman Admits to $700,000 Theft To Fund Lavish Lifestyle“, Lisa Redmond, April 25, 2017