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  1. #1

    Default Embezzlement From Non-Profit, Ransom Money, Domestic Abuse

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Texas


    Please respond with guidance, this story is absolutely true.

    More than a year I was a successful single mom with a good job and had just purchased my first home. I finally starting dating a man and the relationship evolved quickly. The relationship was also volatile with emotional and physical abuse. At the time I was a c-level officer for a non-profit. My job was very stressfull, but I had also accomplished alot for the organisation to turn it around from a state of utter non-compliance and financial mess to a state of absolute perfect audit in less than a year.

    After 4 months in the abusive relationship ( he was cheating on me, lied many many times and was both physically and verbally abusive) I tried several times to end the relationship without success. As all of this was culminating my son's birth father suddenly started calling me. His birth father is not American and I didnt even know he was still in America as his visa had long since. We had 3 conversations. The first 2 conversations were about how much he missed his son (he has never once paid any child support and left us when my son was 3 months old, so when this occured he was already 2 years old). The 3rd phone call from my son's father turned nasty. He called saying that if I didnt show up in NYC with $100k that night that he would make sure both my son and I would be killed. He had in the past demanded money (nothing more that $1k from me ( I always had good 6 figure salary jobs) and just to get rid of him I would pay so that he would leave us alone. I was already so stressed and emotionally fatigued and I guess honestly I was probably in state of nervous breakdown. When he threatened me like that I just snapped. In 15 minutes I changed my life with the most stupid decision. I went to the bank account of the non-profit I worked for and transferred the $100k from the non-profit's bank account to my personal account. I then went home packed a bag and drove with my son to the airport. I didnt tell anyone that I was leaving - except the man i was in a relationship with (we lived together) I told him that I had an emergency overseas. My son and I arrived in NYC that night and my son's father instructed me to meet him in the city. As soon as he saw us he told me not to even try anything because I would be killed and my son would be killed in front of me. We checked into a hotel and waited for the money to clear my account. In the morning he walked me to the bank, he kept my son outside and sent me to the bank teller. I tried to withdraw 40k in cash but the bank became suspicious and would not allow it. I was allowed to take 10k. He became angry and said that If I couldnt give him the money right away than we were just going to have to come with him back to Africa and transfer the money to his account in Africa once we were there. We went to the airport and with the cash he bought us tickets to a country in Africa (not his own country) but one that was neighbored his own country. The journey was long and when we arrived in Africa neither my son nor I had a visa, nor did we understand the language. At immigration my son's father paid the men money and then my son and I were escorted to a van with men carrying machine guns. My son's father talked with the gunmen for hours in the van until we came to a border crossing. At this point I was forced out of the van and had to carry my son a few miles on my back as we walked across the border. We eventually travelled far into his home country in Africa and arrived at house. He kept us there without access to a phone. We were so hungry. Food was delivered only occasionally. I was forced to have sex several times. The only time I was allowed out of the room was when my son's father drove me to town to go to the bank. During these drive my son would be kept at the house with the gunmen. It took 5 days (there was a daily amount limit on my transfers ) but I was able to tranfser 45k to his account in Africa. In the meantime my employer had been able to get an injunction and freeze my bank accounts with the remaining money. Within a day of my son's father getting the money he gave me $2k USD and told me not to even think about going back to the USA as I would be arressted and would never see my son again. He told me that he was leaving back to Europe and that I should go to South Africa and wait for his instructions. He took us to the airport, bought my son and I tickets to South Africa and bought himself a ticket a country in Western Europe. My son and I arrived in SA and I had no idead what to do. I used the $2k the best I could and rented us a room, found a local daycare and eventually found a job as a waitress. I called him as instructed on schedule and he would tell me that he had been questioned by American officials as to my whereabouts and that I had better not say anything to anyone or else he would tell them where I am. 3 months went by and I didnt here from him. I decided to write to former boyfirend ( I have no living family of my own) and explain what had happened. He was of course angry at me for leaving especially as he thought that I had left to be with my sons father. He also said that he had never been question by my employer if he knew anything about what happened but that he had heard that my son and I had been killed in West Africa. After a lot of emailing and phone calls he offered to fly us back to America, said that he was sorry for everyhting he had done in our original relationship and that he wwanted to be back together to take care of me. I was so afraid to come back, but he said that he had checked and there were no charges filed, no warrants for my arrest and nothing apart from the initial story (in which my name was never mentioned) had ever been in the news.

    When I arrived back in the US I was indeed stopped at passport control - apparently a red flag came up on me as a POI. I was uqestioned for an hour by border patrol officers. I told them the whole story as it happened. They asked me where I was going. Again I told them I was going back home to Texas. In the end they let me go from questioning and only advised that when I arrived back to Texas that I should a restraining order from my son's father.

    Well when we arrived back in our home city my boyfirend met us and took us to a motel. he had a first told us that we were to live with him, but that is not what happened. He kept us at the motel and told me now that I was ndebted to him for paying our tickets back to the USA that he was going to make me "pay" for having left him and that he was going to teach me a lesson and that I owed him the rest of my life for what I did. Well the next month was pure torture. My son and I were kept in the room. No money. No phone and again we only had whatever food he decided to bring us. He constantly threatened me not to go anywhere or say anything or else he would call the police and make sure I am arressted and would never see my son again. He would swing back and forth from me nice and loving to violent and filled with rage againts me. My poor son saw so much and he is only 3 years old. One day we were so hungry and I couldnt take it anymore and I called the abuse hotline for help. They advised me to go to the police. As scared as I was I did just that - I went to the police station. I didnt tell them the whole story (and they didnt ask) but they took me to the local battered womans shelter. My son and I stayed there 2 months. During this time my boyfriend/fiance would email me saying how sorry he was and that he would never do it again and that he only did it because he felt so hurt that I left him like I did. After several weeks he mailed me a cell phone and we started talking again. If I refused to see him and say that I didnt want to be in a relationship with him that then he would say "Ok, that's your choice but you know what I am going to do if you try to break up with me" Meaning that he would have me arressted and my son take away. I ended up leaving the shelter and living with him. Within 4 weeks we got married and I became pregnant. The abuse continued and got worse - even though I was pregnant. I could stand how my son was being truamatised by all of this. We were again not allowed to leave the house. I have no family and I wasnt allowed to have any friends. He kept us without money and I had no access to a car. Fianlly last week it got so bad that again I went back to the battered women's shelter and told him to do what he feels he has to do and call the police because I couldnt take the abuse and threats anymore and that I didnt want my son to keep seeing and experiencing so much abusive behaviour. Now here I sit at the battered womens' shelter, my body still in so much pain and him still threatening me to come home and learn how to be a wife and submit to him or he'll make sure I go to jail.

    I know this has been a long story, but I really have no one to speak to, no money for a lawyer and after so much trauma I feel so much at the end of the road that I can barely remember the successful single mom I used to be. I didnt say this earlier, but I can honestly say before all this happened I had never been involved in anything criminal at all my whole life.

    Thank you for reading. I appreciate your responses.

    Edit: I forgot to mention that whilst in SA, I wrote a letter (email) of apology and explanation to my former employer explain in the same detail as above what happened and I have never heard back from them.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Embezzlement Fron Non-Profit, Ransom Money, Domestic Abuse

    The short version of that, apparently, would be that you have made bad choices in your dating relationships, have an abusive ex-boyfriend, and have stolen as much as $100,000 from your ex-employer for which you will very likely be prosecuted at some point of time in the future.

    What's your question?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Embezzlement Fron Non-Profit, Ransom Money, Domestic Abuse

    The letter of apology to the employer has good liklihood of being a key peice of evidence in a felony criminal charges against you - it's akin to a confession. Prosecutors have a lot to work with and none of it is in your favor. On the other hand, a lot of non-profits suffer terribly from fall off of donor interest when information about embezzlement issues is made public, such as by them filing a police report - so even though it's a hefty amount, there's no guarantee that they'll actually FILE that police report. All you can really do is wait and see. If police end up making an arrest, you need to say NOTHING to them except "I'd like an attorney". Regardless of what your ex has threatened you with as far as criminal charges and the taking of your son, your action of the theft in and of itself could have that same exact effect, and CPS is highly likely to be involved as well, given the exposure your child has had to all of these events. STOP communicating with your ex. He's already manipulated you into making some very poor, life altering, choices, and the last thing you need is to make things go from bad to worse by continuing to operate under his influence. The legal problems you're already facing are probably equal to or worse than what problems he's threatening to bring. He doesn't need to know where you are, what you're doing, or what your plans are - and him having any of that knowledge could spell additional physical dangers to you and your child. As far as he's concerned, you need to drop off the face of the earth.

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