Going to the Casino

The 1990s movie Empire Records was not well received by film critics.  However, it has become a cult classic for fans. The movie starts with an employee of an independent music store taking money from the store safe and heading to a casino. Naturally, the employee loses big at the tables and all the money is lost.

Without that money, the store will need to be sold to a large chain. However, since this is a movie, the store employees come up with a way to raise money and save the store. The employee who gambled away the money is not punished. Everything presumably goes on as before, after the movie finishes.

When someone gambles with other people’s money in real life, the results are usually different, as a story in the Sacramento Bee illustrated “Woman accused of cheating trustees, spending their money on Vegas gambling trip.”

A Sacramento woman was acting as a fiduciary of a trust that owned a piece of real estate. She sold the property for $300,000. That money was supposed to go to the beneficiaries. However, she only gave the beneficiaries $30,000 and kept the rest for herself. She used the money to pay off debts and go gambling in Las Vegas.

Trustees, of course, are handled differently than fictional music store employees. Trustees have legal duties and, if they do not fulfill those duties, they can face criminal punishment. If she is convicted, the woman faces up to 20 years in prison.

Reference: Sacramento Bee (May 30, 2018) “Woman accused of cheating trustees, spending their money on Vegas gambling trip.”

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