|Pictured Above: Victim Margaret Abo. Source: Orange County Register.|
Last week, Hitomi Tsuyuki pleaded guilty to around 30 felony counts, including the use of untrue statements in the sale of a security, theft from an elder and grand theft. Tsuyuki was a financial planner who targeted vulnerable people, especially the elderly, and told them to invest in a made up tax-free municipal bond scheme or to purchase interest in a money-market account. Instead of investing the money, Tsuyuki was taking the money and using it for his personal expenses. Many of the victims knew and trusted Tsuyuki since he was a popular local minister’s son. In total, Tsuyuki stole roughly around $2.8 million. He was sentenced to eighteen years in jail and will be ordered to pay restitution to all of his victims.
A white collar crime is a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation. Embezzlement is a type of white collar crime that occurs when a person wrongfully steals or misappropriates property entrusted to him by the rightful owner. As a financial planner, many people trusted Tsuyuki with their money, but Tsuyuki wrongfully stole the money and used it for his personal gain. Punishments for white collar crimes include jail time, restitution, fines and negative effects on your reputation. If you are charged with a white collar crime or theft, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away to assist you in fighting your charges.