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President of Baton Rouge group charged with embezzling $29,000

A Baton Rouge man has been arrested and charged with 10 counts of felony theft after police said he embezzled $29,000 from a homeowners association for which he served as president. He could face more than a decade in prison.

Board members of the Riverbend Lake Homeowners Association said they began to have suspicions about how finances were being handled earlier this year. The vice president of the association said he confronted the president, who said that he had accidentally closed the association's bank account and was paying its bills out of his personal account instead.

Police investigators said that the man had taken checks to the organization and deposited them to "cash." Investigators said they believe the man was using the association's funds to feed a gambling addiction.

Embezzlement differs from other types of theft in that it is performed by people in a position of authority or responsibility over the assets. Embezzlement typically occurs within the settings of employment or corporate transactions. For that reason, it's often referred to as a white-collar crime, in contrast to street crimes or crimes of violence.

Embezzlement is a form of theft, and the penalties that the state imposes on those convicted are not so different from those that go with any street theft. However, the details of these types of theft can be very different, and it is crucial to those facing allegations of embezzlement that they craft a defense strategy that takes all of the circumstances into account. A defense should begin with a thorough investigation of the unique circumstances of the case. Louisiana residents accused of embezzlement should get help understanding their legal options.

Source: NOLA.com, "Baton Rouge man arrested for embezzling $29,000 from homeowners association," Chelsea Brasted, July 26, 2013