Embezzlement involves theft or misappropriation of money or property that has been entrusted to the defendant. Typically in embezzlement cases, the defendant is accused of siphoning or diverting someone else’s money for his or her own use.

If you are facing criminal embezzlement charges, you can connect with a criminal defense attorney. Simply fill out the free online evaluation form on this page or call 877-445-1059 today to arrange your consultation.

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Embezzlement Defined

Embezzlement is a type of fraud in which a person illegally takes money to which they have legal access. Embezzlement is different than larceny. In fact, embezzlement charges cover ground that larceny does not. So it is possible that a person may be innocent of larceny while committing embezzlement.

The difference? The embezzler has control over the money or property. In embezzlement, money is not necessarily stolen, although it may be. Examples of embezzlement may include:

  • Unauthorized use of money or property entrusted in your care;
  • Skimming cash from bank accounts;
  • Skimming cash from a business and under-reporting profits;
  • Creating fake vendor accounts and billing a company for unperformed work, so the checks written appear to be legitimate; and
  • Creating false employees who are paid with legit payroll checks.

Embezzlement most commonly occurs in employment or corporate settings when an employee is:

  • In a position of trust or responsibility over an employer’s money or property; or
  • Given access to the money or property of the employer’s clients.

Embezzlement Penalties

The penalties for embezzlement vary from state to state. Typically, the penalties correspond with the value of the property that is misappropriated. Embezzlement may be classified as a felony. The punishments typically include:

  • Fines on par with the value of property misused; and
  • Prison time, increasing in duration as the value of misused property increases;

At the federal level, embezzlement from private businesses and individual clients generally carries harsher criminal penalties than embezzlement from banks and government agencies. At the state level, embezzlement is usually classified with fraud.

Regardless of the amount misused or the circumstances, anyone accused of embezzlement still has criminal rights. This includes the right to speak with a criminal defense attorney.

Talk to a Criminal Defense Lawyer about Embezzlement

If you have been arrested or are facing criminal charges for embezzlement, speak with criminal defense lawyer who can answer any questions you have about your case or the laws in your state. Schedule a free consultation by calling, toll-free, 877-445-1059 or filling out the free online evaluation form on this page.

The above summary of embezzlement is by no means all-inclusive and is not legal advice. Laws may have changed since our last update. For the latest information on these laws and penalties, speak to a criminal defense attorney in your area.