Embezzlement is a form of white-collar crime. It is committed when a person misappropriates the assets entrusted to him/her. Despite the amounts of money that have been or continue to be embezzled, which often reach millions or billions of dollars, it is shocking to know that this crime often gets discovered only when a relatively large portion of the funds is needed at one time or if a complete and independent accounting of all real and liquid assets is suddenly required.
Some of the biggest embezzlement cases in the U.S. include:
- The embezzlement of billions of dollars of investor money;
- Embezzlement of employee retirement funds and billions of dollars in accounting fraud;
- Fraud, embezzlement and ponzi scheme totaling to $8 billion; and,
- Embezzlement of $20 million of investor dollars.
Embezzlement is usually a deliberate crime that is methodically performed. By repeatedly embezzling only a small fraction or proportion of the total resources or funds and falsifying records in order to minimize risk of the detection, an embezzler can continue committing this crime for years or even decades without being detected. Some past embezzlement schemes are deemed very successful as these went on for many years before detection. This is due to the embezzler’s skill in concealing the nature of the transactions or in gaining the trust and confidence of investors or clients.
Laws on embezzlement may be federal or state-based. On the federal level, embezzlement laws target those who steal from the government. On the state level, laws go after public officials working for state and local governments, as well as people who do not work for the government.
Under federal statute 18 USC 3282, an embezzlement case may only be pursued within five years of the commission of the offense. Those convicted will be punished based on a point system. Base Offense Level, which is six, is the point assigned to those who have embezzled $5000 or less; the highest offense level is 36, which can be assigned to those who cause losses above $400 million.
According to the law firm Truslow & Truslow, no matter the offense, criminal charges at any level should be taken seriously. If charged with a crime or if you are under investigation for a crime, then contacting a criminal defense attorneys immediately may help safeguard your livelihood, property, and freedom, as well as save you from jail.
Natural gas is highly combustible and, therefore, extremely hazardous. Without it, however, furnaces, boilers, gas stoves, ovens, clothes dryers, air conditioning systems, and a lot of other things will not be able to function. This is why about 657 billion cubic meters or 657,000 liters of natural gas is used in homes and offices (all throughout the U.S.) annually.
The U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, a branch of the Department of Transportation, says that pipes used to distribute natural gas extend more than two million miles through cities. These pipes connect natural gas distribution sites to consumer sites. In order to help ensure total safety and avoidance of accidents, such as leaks, which can very well lead to an explosion, distribution companies implement safety programs, such as:
- One Call System, which refers to the “call-before-you-dig” 811 telephone number. Contractors, excavators and customers should know this number, which needs to be contacted before any digging (for pipeline installation), is made. This is to make sure that no facility or other pipeline is damaged in the digging process;
- Emergency Preparedness, which is a way that will help make sure that distribution companies and local utilities are prepared for any possible natural disaster. These distribution outlets are necessitated to participate in local emergency preparedness and community programs;
- Technicians on Call, a program which makes sure that, in the event of problems, like leaks, a group of well trained technicians can be relied on 24/7;
- Safety Education Programs, which are aimed at making sure that customers are informed through seminars held in community centers, schools and other associations about natural gas safety procedures; they are also told what measures to take during emergencies; and,
- Leak Detection Equipment, which include the latest leak detection tools and equipment that will enable distribution companies to detect and immediately locate leaks in the distribution network. Natural gas odorants are also used to make leak detection easier and faster.
Unmaintained pipes and unchecked leaks can result to explosion accidents, the effects of which can be severe, even deadly. It is not hard for the law firm Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® to identify the great and serious threats posed by an explosion accident due to its first hand knowledge of the severity of injuries suffered by those who have been victims of it. Though the tragic effects of an explosion can never be undone, said law firm explains that, if any of these catastrophic incidents can be proven as a result of someone’s negligence, such as a property owner or a product manufacturer, then such person or party may be held accountable for his/her carelessness. The victim, on the other hand, may be eligible to pursue financial compensation for all present and future damages he/she may suffer due to the injury