A former Navy pilot pleaded guilty to embezzlement in US District Court in San Diego. Anthony Ventura, 71, admitted to taking nearly $125,000 from The Distinguished Flying Cross Society, a veteran’s group. Ventura is a member of the society, which honors military airmen from all branches of the armed services.
Ventura flew in the Navy during the Vietnam War, and earned a Bronze Star. He pleaded guilty to wire fraud, mail fraud and filing a false tax return. His trouble began in 2014, after he filed for bankruptcy. He told the court he took the money to fund his lifestyle after going broke.
Ventura served as the group’s treasurer between 2012 and 2016. During that time, he opened a credit union account and transferred society funds to it. Then, he used the money for stock purchases and to operate his stable, Sovran Star Stables. According to the US Attorney in the case, the society intended to use the money to fund scholarship programs.
To disguise the theft, Ventura created false quarterly statements for the organization’s board of directors, and filed a false tax return on behalf of the group. As part of his plea agreement, he will forfeit any remaining funds in his possession and will repay the stolen money. He also faces up to 20 years in federal prison on the wire fraud and mail fraud charges, as well as three years for filing the false tax return.
Ventura embezzlement lawyer
When you face federal charges for financial crimes, you need an experienced embezzlement lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of experience in courtroom defense. He takes cases in both state and federal courts.
Embezzlement cases can be very difficult for all involved, because the money is usually intended for specific purposes. Repayment is an important component of embezzlement sentencing, so limiting jail time is key to ensuring restitution. An experienced attorney will work toward the best possible resolution of the case, and maximize the opportunity for repayment. Don’t settle for an inexperienced attorney.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County embezzlement case.
Photo Credit: Naval History & Heritage Command, via Flickr.com