Recently, 42-year-old Stephanie Sumner, an ex-Oak Park deputy city clerk, was ordered to stand trial on charges of embezzlement after she and her husband, Michael Sumner, stole more than $433,000 while she was employed by the city. According to a news report at The Oakland Press, all of the money has been spent.
Oakland County Sheriff’s Sgt. Christopher Cole said that investigators were not able to recover any of the money, and that it did not appear it was spent on anything illegal. Cole said the Sumners did not make any large purchases, that the money was used as it came in on ordinary, everyday items.
Police said that over a two-year period ending in February of this year, the money was siphoned out of city accounts by Stephanie, who made checks payable to her husband for bogus invoices she submitted – 54 city checks in all. City officials stated that the checks were issued under expenses related to voting precinct consolidation efforts; Michael Sumner had occasionally worked for the city on election nights as a poll worker. The checks issued to Mr. Sumner were approved by the city’s Finance Dept., according to Eric Tungate, City Manager.
Stephanie Sumner is charged with one count of embezzling up to $30,000, and two counts of embezzling more than $100,000. She is expected to be arraigned on the charges on October e15, and waived her right to a preliminary hearing. Her husband has been charged with five counts of embezzling up to $20,000.
The couple had filed for bankruptcy in 2012, and again last month.
White collar crimes such as embezzlement are often as serious as serious or violent crimes in terms of punishment. For instance, embezzling more than $100,000 is a 20-year felony, which means Stephanie Sumner could face up to 20 years in prison on each of the two counts. In addition, embezzling up to $30,000 is a 10-year felony. Ultimately, if found guilty she may spend decades behind bars.
If you have been accused of embezzling or any financial crime such as money laundering or tax evasion, it is critical to your freedom and future to consult with a capable and experienced Michigan criminal defense attorney. You have legal rights that must be protected early on; you are innocent until proven guilty. A seasoned defense lawyer can help mitigate the damage, and obtain the best possible result in your case.