Embezzlement Overview and Defense

What is embezzlement? This is an act of dishonestly appropriating or secreting assets and a term usually heard in the corporate world. An embezzlement charge may be given against an individual or by a group of individuals who have allegedly mishandled assets for personal gain. Literally speaking, the act of embezzlement is not limited to the corporate world.

For instance, a clerk in a retail store can embezzle cash assets from his boss. A lawyer could embezzle funds from a client. A company head could embezzle funds from his investors. Even the spouse of a company worker could theoretically embezzle funds from a partner. As you can imagine, embezzlement crimes can be widely different, and require different sentencing according to the nature of the crime committed. Some crimes will only involve small amounts of money and may not require heavy sentencing. On the other hand, embezzling large amounts of money, and developing complex schemes in order to detect evasion, would demand a greater punishment.

Corporate Embezzlement

In the corporate world, because of intensive security measures, embezzlement must be premeditated and methodical with the intent to conceal. In order for a person to get away with embezzlement, in theory the perpetrator must be a trusted member of an organization. In order to evade detection, he or she will embezzle a fraction of the funds available. If done successfully the embezzler could continue with dishonest gain multiple years without ever being noticed.

For more information on an embezzlement case defense, contact a criminal defense lawyer to discuss the case.

Embezzlement is not considered the same crime as larceny, defined as the unlawful taking of personal property. With embezzlement, a conversion must take place, and besides that, the original taking of the property (or funds) was not illegal. Conversion requires that the secretion performed interferes with the property. All of these specific details suggest the fact that embezzlement does not always involve such blatant acts of stealing. Embezzlement is a criminal offense of deceit, broken trust and the theft of one's assets through a duplicitous scheme.

Misdemeanor or Felony?

Depending on the severity of the crime, an act of embezzlement may qualify as a misdemeanor or a felony. Defense of the charge of embezzlement may involve explaining mitigating circumstances or specific questions pertaining to the company industry. Even in cases where evidence of embezzlement is strong, experienced defense lawyers can push for a substantially reduced sentence.

The judge of a trial will pay close attention to the value of the item taken and let this amount influence the punishment. Misdemeanor cases usually involve petty cash embezzlement and shoplifting crimes because they are limited to $400 and less. Items over that cash amount are prosecuted as felony grand theft. Naturally, in the cases of repeat offense the court is more obliged to increase the sentence. Even misdemeanor convictions can result in a $1,000 fine and six months in jail. Felony convictions for embezzlement, such as in grand theft cases, may result in a county jail prison sentence with fines exceeding thousands of dollars. Lastly, the convicted must pay back all funds to the victim.

For more information on embezzlement defense contact a lawyer or read embezzlement practice law online.

For more information on an embezzlement case defense, contact a criminal defense lawyer to discuss the case.

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