Woman charged with stealing booking fees

White collar crime can take many forms. One of the most common is fraud, the misrepresentation of a material fact to induce reliance by the victim. The recent arrest of an Indianapolis woman on suspicion of theft and fraud provides another example of this type of crime.

The suspect was arrested by Indianapolis Metropolitan Police and charged with stealing money from at least two local nonprofit organizations. According to prosecutors, the suspect allegedly told the organizations that she was authorized to book celebrity speakers. She is alleged to have convinced the organizations to pay her up-front booking fees in exchange for her services. In one case, the organization allegedly paid the woman $40,000 in 2015 based upon her representation that she would book TV personality Bear Grylls for a national event. The organization used Grylls' name in publicity for the event until Grylls' agent told the organization that the woman lacked authority to book Grylls.

In a second incident, the suspect is alleged to have collected $30,000 from Easter Seals Crossroads after she promised to provide acrobat Jennifer Bricker as a speaker. Police allege that the woman lacked authority to book Bricker and that the suspect spent the payment at two Indiana casinos and race tracks.

The suspect has not yet been arraigned or entered a plea, but she faces potentially serious criminal charges. Conviction could mean jail time, a fine and restitution. A suspect in a similar situation is nevertheless entitled to be presumed innocent of all charges unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Source: The Register Citizen, "Indy woman accused of stealing booking fees from 2 groups," Oct. 28, 2017

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