A Texas man was taken into police custody on Oct. 10 after authorities alleged he stole money from a charity. The man, who was the treasurer of a charity toy event held in Tarrant/Dallas County, is now facing felony theft charges.

Investigators claim that the 45-year-old man managed to take approximately $71,000 in funds from the charity over the course of about one year, from October 2012 to December 2013. Board members of the charity event say they became suspicious after noticing a number of problems with the group’s finances. Those inconsistencies were reported to the police for investigation in July.

Upon concluding their investigation, officials say the accused man used the embezzled money to purchase a number of personal items, including a new trailer and four-wheelers. The money police claim was taken from the area’s Big Texas Toy Run has, in the past, gone to help mentally and physically disabled children.

A felony charge for a theft crime can carry severe penalties, not limited to large fines, lengthy probation sentences and even time in jail or prison. Numerous pitfalls may await any defendant in a criminal case, starting from the moment they are taken into custody. The ability of an accused individual to tell his or her own side can be hampered during an investigation. In these cases, the defendant may benefit by consulting with an criminal defense attorney. The attorney can ensure that an individual’s rights are protected, represent their client in court and possibly argue for reduced charges and/or sentencing.

Source: CBS DFW, “Mesquite Charity Treasurer Arrested For Theft“, October 11, 2014