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Orlando Criminal Lawyer

Former Lawyer Charged With Federal Crime In Embezzlement Case


On December 21st, 2023, Bloomberg Law News reported that a lawyer has been arrested and charged with a federal crime for allegedly embezzling in excess of $1 million from his former law firm. The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Jason R. Caraway—a former partner at the Caraway, Fisher & Broombaugh, P.C. law firm in Southern Illinois—is facing 11 wire fraud charges. Here, our Orlando white collar criminal defense lawyer provides an overview of federal wire fraud charges.

Allegations: Former Partner at Legal Practice Embezzled More than $1 Million 

Jason R. Caraway, a 49-year-old former partner at a Belleville personal injury law firm, faces an eleven-count federal indictment for wire fraud, accused of embezzling over $1 million from his firm and its client trust account. Notably, each count carries a potential 20-year prison sentence and up to $250,000 in fines. The specific allegations raised in this case include the following:

  • Misuse of client funds for personal expenses;
  • Misuse of client funds for business expenses;
  • The fraudulent self-issuance of checks;
  • Embezzlement of client settlement funds; and
  • Failure to properly pay the holders of valid medical liens.

To be clear, the defendant has only been charged. Any person facing an indictment for wire fraud or any other type of federal white collar crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The matter is currently pending in a federal court. 

Federal Embezzlement Statute Applies Only to Federal Funds 

There is a specific federal criminal statute for the crime of embezzlement. However, the federal embezzlement statute is specifically designed to protect public money (federal funds.( It applies solely to the misappropriation or theft of money or property entrusted to one’s care by virtue of their employment or office within a federal agency or entity. In other words, the statute targets those who misuse or take money and assets that are directly linked to federal government resources. On the other hand, state-level embezzlement statutes can apply even if a defendant is only accused of depriving a private party of funds.

Many Embezzlement Cases are Still Federal Cases (Wire Fraud Charges) 

Despite the federal embezzlement statute’s focus on federal funds, many embezzlement cases still fall under federal jurisdiction through wire fraud charges. Wire fraud encompasses any scheme to defraud that involves electronic communications. Most often, an embezzlement scheme involves some type of activity that constitutes wire fraud. As such, even when the embezzled funds aren’t federal, the use of electronic networks can bring the case under federal scrutiny. These are serious crimes. Any person facing a federal wire fraud charge in an embezzlement case should be represented by an experienced Florida white collar criminal defense lawyer. 

Contact Our Orlando, FL White Collar Criminal Defense Attorney Today

At The Baez Law Firm, our Orlando white collar criminal defense attorney has the skills, experience, and sophisticated legal knowledge that you can trust. If you or your family member is facing any type of embezzlement charge, we are here to help. Call us now or contact us online to set up a confidential initial consultation. We defend white collar criminal cases throughout Florida.



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