Discovery Tours, which was well-known in Ohio for organizing and operating educational tours that allowed students to visit places of significant cultural and historical interest, including Washington D.C., and Chicago, suddenly shut its doors in May, 2018 due to financial problems. That left thousands of Ohio students and their families wondering what happened — and where millions of dollars of their money had gone.
According to bankruptcy paperwork, the company had $1.4 million in assets at the time of its closing, but about $3.9 million in debts. The company’s vice president, who is also the founder’s son, also filed for bankruptcy shortly afterward.
Now, after a federal investigation brought at the request of Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh, the VP has been charged with embezzlement. Using his signature authority on the company’s accounts, he allegedly took more than $600,000 from the business in cash, which he then used to purchase money orders paid to himself. The authorities claim that the money funded a lavish lifestyle and went for such luxuries as a backyard renovation and new cars.
Ultimately, the company’s VP was indicted on 18 charges, which include embezzlement, wire fraud, bank fraud, money laundering and making false statements under oath. It’s alleged that his financial misdealing took place over a period for four years, between 2014 and 2018.
It’s important to understand that many people who end up in trouble for embezzlement are reacting to some sort of personal or financial pressure when they first act. They may convince themselves that they’ll pay the money they borrow back before anybody notices that it’s missing.. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get lost in the details. Once things escalate, they may not have a chance.
If you made a mistake and are now facing embezzlement charges or an investigation, recognize that you’re in a vulnerable position. It’s time to speak to an experienced attorney about your situation.