An Irish jury handed down a seven year sentence in an embezzlement case involving U2 bassist Adam Clayton. Last week, an aide hired by the U2 star was found guilty of 181 counts of white collar crime based on her actions from 2004 to 2008. She worked for Mr. Clayton for 17 years handling the upkeep of his mansion in south Dublin. The judge handling the case decried the woman’s action as stemming from “greed in pursuit of a lavish lifestyle that was no responsibility of Mr. Clayton’s.” In addition to the seven year sentence, the woman was ordered to begin paying back the embezzled funds.

In recent years, white collar crimes have been subject to increasingly stiff penalties. White collar criminals are often given much lengthier sentences than violent criminals. Each transaction that is deemed fraudulent is another count on which a defendant can be convicted. Unlike the victim of a violent crime, Mr. Clayton testified that he was unaware of the missing and misused funds. He had granted the woman access to his accounts so she could pay the expenses necessary to keep the mansion in good order.

An accusation of embezzlement or other financial crime is a serious matter. White collar crime is more heavily scrutinized than at any point in history. Anyone being investigated or facing charges of fraud or other white collar crimes should enlist the help of an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. A conviction often means enormous fines and years in prison.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “Domestic aide sentenced for embezzling from U2 bassist Adam Clayton,” by August Brown, 6 July 2012

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