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Restitution Often Wanting in Embezzlement Cases

Laws were enacted 10 years ago that require white-collar criminals convicted in federal courts to pay everything back, whether they have the money or not. Despite the laws, the money is typically gone by the time authorities catch on. The situation is even more grim in cases tried in state court where restitution is typically not mandatory.

A random study of $47 million embezzled or stolen since 1996 by 100 St. Louis area white-collar defendants by the Post-Dispatch found that about $5 million has been paid back. Most of that was paid back by defendants charged in federal courts, a total of about 12 percent of what they were accused of stealing.

The disparity between federal and state collection in embezzlement cases is attributed to factor such as lighter caseloads of federal prosecutors and more effective tools for coercing payments.

See the full story here.


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