Office Manager Gives Herself an Unauthorized Raise: $1.7 Allegedly Stolen from Arcadia Investment Partners

Some people should just keep white collar criminal defense attorneys on retainer. It seems that at least once every week or two, someone is arrested or indicted for Grand Larceny. While an arrest or an indictment certainly is not evidence of guilt, accusations of “sticky fingers” seems to be all the rage right now. Fortunately for the clients of Crotty Saland PC, top Manhattan based white collar criminal defense lawyers, our clients accused of these crimes have utilized our experience and knowledge to get tremendous results. In fact, in the past year each one of them has avoided jail and in some cases criminal records altogether for alleged thefts ranging from $20,000 to the tens of millions of dollars. As former Manhattan Assistant District Attorneys under Robert Morgenthau, we know how prosecutors build, investigate and prosecute these cases. Hopefully for Ms. Diana Lucretia Montague-Griffin’s sake, she retains a criminal defense attorney who can keep her from spending from up to the next 25 years in state prison.

According to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Ms. Montague-Griffin worked at Arcadia Investment Partners, a Manhattan-based private investment firm. While working as the office manager, Ms. Montague-Griffin allegedly made unauthorized wire transfers and forged signatures on checks totaling $1.7 million. From about January 2006 through December 2008, it is alleged that Ms. Montague-Griffin withdrew approximately $375,000 in cash, spent $250,000 to renovate her home and $59,000 for an in-ground pool. It is further alleged that Ms. Montague-Griffin spent thousands of dollars each month on personal items such as hair and skin products, dental care, dining and clothes. Her alleged spending of the firm’s money included other purchases at department stores and online including Nordstrom, Macys, QVC, Amazon.com, Target, JC Penny, and Wal-Mart. It is nor clear how much, if any, of the money is still in Ms. Montague-Griffin’s possession.

Although Ms. Montague-Griffin is currently in custody in New Jersey, she has agreed to be extradited back to New York on her indictment. While indictments usual occur after a person is arrested, in Ms. Montague-Griffin’s case, the Grand Jury indicted her prior to her arrest in what is often referred to as a No-Arrest Indictment or “NA” Indictment.

The indictment charges Ms. Montague-Griffin with one count of Grand Larceny in the First Degree, a class “B” felony. This offense is punishable by up to 8 1/3 to 25 years in prison. Although less serious, but still felonies, the indictment charges Ms. Montague-Griffin with five accounts of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree,10 counts of Forgery in the Second Degree and 10 counts of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree. Each of these crimes are “D” felonies punishable by up to 2 1/3 to 7 years in state prison.

If Ms. Montague-Griffin has not done so yet, while she awaits being transported back to New York she should consider what her defense should be and how she will implement it. Giving up and throwing one’s hands in the air is never the answer. Therefore, instead of compounding what is already a bad situation, Ms. Montague-Griffin should immediately retain experienced criminal counsel.

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