Facing criminal charges of any kind is a serious threat to one’s future. Financial crimes typically come with the potential of serious jail time and other penalties that can change the course of your life. If you are facing charges that involve embezzlement or another type of white collar crime, it is in your interests to take your situation seriously and begin considering your defense options.
Embezzlement involves the theft of funds from an employer or place of business, also known as employee theft. It is a relatively common type of white collar crime, and the federal government takes this type of illegal activity seriously. It can happen at any level within a company, but approximately 85% of embezzlement cases take place at the management level or higher.
What is it?
Embezzlement is the act of improperly taking funds by someone entrusted with those funds. He or she is not the owner of the assets but is in a position to have access to them because of his or her job. It is a type of fraud involving the misappropriation of funds by someone with a fiduciary duty to the rightful owner. In order to effectively prosecute an embezzlement case, the following factors must be present:
- There is clear evidence of a fiduciary relationship between the two parties involved. For example, this may be a relationship between a financial advisor and client.
- There is evidence the person charged had access to the funds because of this fiduciary relationship.
- There is evidence the defendant took the funds or assets and allocated them to another person for personal gain.
- There is evidence the defendant acted intentionally, taking deliberate steps to take the property for personal use.
The penalties for an embezzlement conviction depend on various factors, including the amount taken. If convicted, you could have to pay a fine, make restitution or even serve time behind bars.
Protecting your future
Your future is at stake, but a conviction or guilty plea is never your only option. If facing an embezzlement charge, you would be wise to take immediate action to secure your long-term interests and personal rights by preparing the best possible defense for your unique situation. The most effective way to confront the prosecution’s case will depend on the details of your individual situation.