Have you been accused of embezzlement?
Embezzlement is a white collar crime where a trusted individual intentionally takes funds or property belonging to another person and transfers it into their own possession. The penalties for embezzlement may vary in severity depending on the amount illegally transferred from the employer, although the charge may escalate to a felony if the property stolen belongs to a state or local government. Individuals who are accused of embezzlement do have options in terms of a compelling defense, and an attorney with good experience may be in the best position to assist.
There are many different scenarios in which embezzlement may take place. People who do accounting work for an employer may commit embezzlement by transferring over-the-till amounts into their own funds; employees in virtually every retail setting may choose to pocket money from refunds or overpayment without reporting it to the company. Other common forms of embezzlement involve writing checks that are drawn from another person’s accounts or hiding assets from an individual for the purpose of defrauding them of the asset. These are just a few scenarios, and the potential circumstances for embezzlement are virtually limitless.
About Embezzlement Charges
Embezzlement differs from other theft in that the component of “entrusting” must be involved.
For prosecutors to successfully obtain an embezzling conviction, they must prove:
- That you possessed a relationship of trust with the theft victim
- That you were entrusted with property or funds as part of this relationship
- That you intended to deprive the victim of the property or funds by taking it as your own
The penalties depend on certain factors, including the specific offense committed, the value of the stolen property or funds, and whether or not you possess a prior criminal history.
- Misdemeanor Embezzlement – Up to $1,000 in fines and 1 year in county jail
- Felony Embezzlement – Up to $10,000 in fines and 3 years in state prison
Building a Compelling Defense Against Your Charges
Contrary to what many think, there are a number of viable defense strategies that can be employed in an embezzlement trial which can cast enough doubt in a jury to overturn a certain conviction, or at least minimize the penalties you may face. Our criminal defense lawyers at Okabe & Haushalter focus on the defense of high-profile clients who not only seek to avoid penalties associated with their charges but who also want their trial conducted as discreetly as possible. We pride ourselves on our professionalism, preparedness, and confidence—even in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds. Our top concern is securing a favorable result in your embezzlement case, and we have a proven history of making that happen.