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Two brewery executives charged with embezzlement

St. Louis is well-known for having one of the most famous breweries in the country. A rival brewery is now making headlines, however, for allegations of corporate crime involving two of its executives.

A federal investigation is currently ongoing into two former executives of MillerCoors LLC. The individuals, who held marketing roles in the company, are being investigated for allegations of embezzlement involving several million dollars. The scheme allegedly took place over several years, and the company is trying to recover those funds through criminal restitution and insurance proceeds.

What exactly constitutes embezzlement is often misunderstood. Typically, individuals charged with embezzlement are alleged to have stolen assets over which they were in a position of trust to maintain. The charges frequently take place in a corporate or employment setting, and often involve accusations of manipulating accounting records or taking unlawful possession of money or assets that the person originally had access to lawfully. It is also frequently alleged that the scheme took place over a significant period of time. Through accumulating smaller amounts over a period of time, substantial sums can be involved in the allegations.

While the circumstances of each embezzlement case may vary, the elements the government must prove to convict an individual remain the same. Typically, the government must show a person was in a fiduciary relationship with the company, that the person used that relationship to acquire the assets and that the person intentionally acquired those assets or transferred the property for his or her own financial gain. If these elements are not proven, the government's charges against the person will fail.

Source: Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, "Two former MillerCoors executives accused of embezzlement," Tom Daykin, April 3, 2014

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