In Kentucky, embezzlement is coded under the theft statute of KRS 514. Embezzlement has been defined as “theft or misappropriation of funds place in one’s trust or belonging to one’s employer”. Different elements of the Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) can be applied to this. In most cases, state courts will handle the affairs although they may transfer it to federal court if the prosecutor feels this is appropriate.
Kentucky embezzlement laws are codified under KRS 514 in the THEFT statutes of criminal law. Embezzlement is defined as theft or misappropriation of funds placed in one’s trust or belonging to one’s employer. Generally in Kentucky, persons are charged with KRS 514.030 theft by unlawful taking or KRS 514.040 theft by deception. Occasionally a prosecutor may charge under KRS 514.070 theft by failure to make required disposition. The cases may be handled in state court or may be transferred to federal court. The ultimately decision rests with the prosecutor, but is generally determined by the agency investigating the case.
Kentucky Embezzlement Laws and Penalties
The statutes overseeing embezzlement laws and penalties in Kentucky are:
- KRS 514.030 – Theft by unlawful taking.
- KRS 514.040 – Theft by deception.
- KRS 514.070 – Theft by failure to make required disposition.
The majority of embezzlement cases, however, are trialed under KRS 514.030. Under that statute:
- Theft of a property of a value between $500 and $10,000 is a Class D felony. This can lead to one to five years imprisonment.
- Theft of a property of a value between $10,000 and $1,000,000 is a Class C felony. This can lead to five to 10 years imprisonment.
- Theft of a property of a value of over $1,000,000 is a Class B felony. This can lead to 10 to 20 years imprisonment.
Those convicted of felony offenses are likely to have to complete a period of probation upon release and restitution is generally also ordered. In some cases, people will face both state and federal criminal charges.
Kentucky Embezzlement Defenses
Because of the seriousness of the crime of embezzlement, it is essential that a defendant seeks appropriate legal representation. A lawyer will first gain an understanding of which statute the defendant will be charged under and what the prosecution must demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt in order for the charge to stick. Often, lawyers will try to demonstrate lack of intent, authorized use of the property, or a crime committed under duress.
Kentucky Embezzlement Statute of Limitations
Under Ky. Rev. Stat. § 413.120(11) (2016), the statute of limitations for embezzlement in Kentucky is five years. However, the statute can be tolled if the defendant cannot be brought to justice, for instance if they are out of state or otherwise incapable of standing trial.
Kentucky Embezzlement Cases
- Ex-insurance executive from Kentucky charged with embezzlement. Sylvia R. Smith, a 63 year old former chief financial officer at an insurance company in Louisville has been sentenced to 37 months in federal prison for embezzlement and tax evasion. Additionally, she has been ordered to repay $674,093 in restitution. The victim in the case was Market Finders Insurance Corp. She entered a plea agreement for the crime.
- Lexington pastor faces new embezzlement lawsuit in relation to $100,000 missing funds. James Keogh and Chad Martin from the Southern Acres Christian Church have accused pastor Cameron McDonald of embezzlement. The lawsuit was earlier dismissed and a lawyer for McDonald has stated that all allegations are false and no money has been misused. According to the case, Keogh donated $170,000 to the church, of which $100,000 was diverted to the McDonald family and paid for their mortgage. According to Keogh, the money was offered to pay the mortgage on the church instead.
- Man from Kentucky receives limited prison sentence for embezzling $248,000 from wife’s pension plan. Ron Hill, a 49 year old resident of Fort Mitchell, has been sentenced to 30 months in a federal prison for embezzling $248,000 from his ex-wife’s 401(k) pension plan. He is currently serving time for a sex offense. Records show Ron Hill pleaded guilty on rape and sexual abuse charges, for which he is serving six years. He is now accused of embezzling from his ex-wife, the sister of Trey Grayson, former Kentucky Secretary of State, on three different occasions.
- Woman arrested on embezzlement chargers after attempting to use fraudulent check. Candi Fluhr, a.k.a. Candi McCubbings has been arrested when attempting to buy new case at Bill Collins Ford in Louisville, Kentucky using fraudulent checks. She had been fired from Meyer Plumbing in Brooks, Kentucky, in October 2017 for allegedly embezzling $824,000. She attempted to purchase three new cars with a $69,013.99 fraudulent certified check from the Park Community Credit Union.
- Employee of Clark County accused of embezzling from Fiscal Court. Jennifer Paige Adkins, a woman from Clark County, has been arrested on embezzlement charges. Allegedly, she misappropriated funds from the Fiscal Court Emergency Planning Center over the past two years, money that should have gone to emergency preparedness exercises. Allegedly, she forged various signatures on the checks. The charges are for $11,551 in total, across 29 individual checks. According to Adkins, she has put money that she took back into the account. She is now facing charges of theft by unlawful taking as well as criminal possession of a forged instrument and is currently released on bail.