Embezzlement is a white-collar crime where an employee steals from their employer. It can have very serious consequences and comes in many forms. If you’ve been accused of embezzlement, then you need an embezzlement defense lawyer; attorneys with experience are ready and waiting to handle even the most complex cases.
Ask an Embezzlement Defence Lawyer: 8 Commonly Asked Questions
1. What Can an Embezzlement Lawyer Do for Me?
Your attorney will do everything they can to build a case in your defense. They’ll generally try to gather evidence and take statements that show you weren’t responsible for the crime you’ve been accused of if you’re innocent. If you were involved in the crime, then your attorney will usually attempt to get you the least severe penalty possible for your crimes. They may advise you to take a plea bargain to potentially reduce your penalty.
If you were unknowingly involved in other employees’ embezzlement scheme, then your attorney will usually attempt to demonstrate that you were unaware of the crime being committed. Click here to get in contact with an embezzlement defense attorney.
2. Does Theft of Property Count As Embezzlement?
Stealing property from your workplace can count as embezzlement. Embezzlement can involve the theft of both tangible and intangible items. So, if you stole equipment from your workplace, then you may be charged with embezzlement
3. What Are Some Other Forms of Embezzlement?
Embezzlement isn’t just an employee stealing money or equipment from the workplace. There are other ways to unlawfully obtain money or equipment at work, such as:
- Billing for services that were never performed
- Using a falsified account for billing
- Underreporting profits
- Spending company money without authorization
- Charging an expense account for personal purchases
4. Are Embezzlement and Larceny Different?
If you’re accused of larceny, then you’re being accused of stealing something that doesn’t belong to you and that was not entrusted to you. This is more along the lines of what people think of when they think of theft.
Embezzlement is the theft of money or equipment that was entrusted to you at work. The key difference between larceny and embezzlement is the entrustment of funds or property to the employee.
5. Is Embezzlement Serious?
Embezzlement is a very serious crime that’s often punished by hefty fines and considerable jail/prison time. It’s one of the most serious white-collar crimes that can be committed. The severity of the charge and punishment varies depending on the value of what was stolen.
6. What Is the Penalty for Embezzlement?
When It’s a Misdemeanor
If the value of what was stolen was under $100, then you can be charged with the Class C misdemeanor and face a $500 fine. If the value of the property stolen exceeds $100 but is under $750, then you can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor, facing jail time of up to 6 months and fines of up to $2,000.
Embezzlement is charged as a Class A misdemeanor when the property stolen was valued at $750-$2,500. You may receive a one-year jail sentence along with fines of up to $4,000.
When It’s a Felony
Theft of $2,500-$30,000 is charged as a felony. You may be fined up to $6,000 and face six months to 2 years in a state jail. Theft of $30,000-$150,000 may be charged as a Third-Degree Felony, carrying fines of up to $10,000 and between two and 10 years in state prison.
Embezzlement is charged as a Second-Degree Felony when the theft is valued at $150,000-$300,000. You may face between two and 20 years in state prison alongside fines of up to $10,000. Finally, theft of $300,000 and above is charged as a First-Degree Felony, carrying a punishment of 2 to 99 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
7. What Do I Do If I’ve Been Accused of Embezzlement?
If you’ve been accused of embezzlement, then the first thing you need to do is find legal representation. Don’t answer any questions unless you have a lawyer present, as you may end up incriminating yourself. Your attorney will let you know your rights, and they’ll advise you on what questions you should and shouldn’t answer.
8. What If I’ve Been Falsely Accused?
If you’re innocent, then your attorney will do everything they can to prove this. If there was a large-scale embezzlement scheme occurring at your company, then your attorney will likely build a case attempting to show you weren’t involved. If you’re the only one being prosecuted, then someone may have falsely accused you, and your attorney may attempt to prove the claim is false.
Embezzlement is a very serious crime with severe penalties depending on how much was stolen. If you’ve been accused, then contact an experienced defense attorney to help you. You have the right to legal representation throughout the entire case.