This story just goes to show you that you need to be extra careful with the company credit card.
A Watertown man was recently charged in federal court in Boston, with allegedly misusing the company credit card. John J. Palandjian is accused of allegedly making unauthorized purchases and taking out cash advances of about $1.1 Million from his former employer, Iron Mountain Inc., a Boston company that helps corporate customers manage their business records. Reportedly, Mr. Palandjian had worked at Iron Mountain as a sourcing manager.
After the alleged Massachusetts embezzlement, Mr. Palandjian is accused of taking measures to hide the charges, yet ensure that his bills were paid. For this alleged Massachusetts theft crime, Mr. Palandjian was charged with 10 counts of wire fraud, which is a federal offense. If he is convicted of all counts, he could face a $250,000 fine, a forfeiture of all of the money he allegedly embezzled, and up to 20 years in prison. These are the penalties for this crime that apply in federal court, which is not the same as a Massachusetts state court.
As a Dedham/Boston theft crimes attorney, I can tell you that the crime of embezzlement is serious, and more common than many people might think. Typically, for a defendant to be convicted of embezzlement, the prosecution must prove several things. First, it must be proven that the defendant, prior to the larceny, had been entrusted with either possession or custody of property belonging to another, or that the defendant had occupied a position of trust over the money, assets or property in question. This is a legal prerequisite. Second, it must be proven that the defendant stole, concealed, or “converted” the cash, property or assets in question to his personal use without the consent or permission of the true owner. Third, it must be proven that the defendant had the intention to permanently deprive the real owner of the cash or property that is in question.
When charges like this are brought in federal court instead of state court, it is usually because the alleged acts of the defendant either involved transactions that occurred in more than one state, or somehow involved inter-state commerce, or involved federal contracts in some manner. In this case, the charges involve wire fraud, which is a federal offense. When such charges are brought in federal court instead of state court, the punishments for theft crimes such as embezzlement, larceny and robbery can be more severe.