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Embezzlement Charges: What Are They?

Legal Blog

There are many different types of theft. One of those types is embezzlement. Often a crime that occurs in the workplace, embezzlement can have serious consequences. If you face embezzlement charges, then you deserve to know what to expect. Here is everything that you should know about embezzlement charges.

What is Embezzlement?

Embezzlement is a crime that involves the theft of assets, like money or property. However, the crime is more specific than that. The theft needs to occur by a person who is in a position of power over the assets. For example, someone might put you in charge of the money of your great aunt. If you take that money and use it for your personal gain, then you can face embezzlement charges.

Most often, embezzlement occurs in a corporate environment. However, there are also other types of embezzlement. Depending on your crime, you could face one of the various types of embezzlement charges. The type of embezzlement depends on your relationship with the person from whom you stole.

Types of Embezzlement Charges

One type of embezzlement is accounting embezzlement. When this occurs, an individual manipulates the financial records to hide a heft. For example, you might steal $20,000 from a business and find ways to remove that $20,000 from the accounting records. Unless someone looked closely, the theft could remain hidden. This qualifies as embezzlement because you had the authority to manage the books, but used that power to steal money for your personal use.

Another type of embezzlement is cash embezzlement. When someone steals physical money from an employer, cash embezzlement occurs. For example, a retail store employee might take money from a sale and keep it. Then, he might not record the transaction. Any time that an employee takes cash from his place of business, cash embezzlement occurs. This could have serious legal consequences.

Examples of Cases

There are a few classic examples of embezzlement. One of the most famous is the embezzlement committed by Robert Vesco. According to the SEC, he embezzled $224 million. Once charges were filed against him, Vesco fled to Cuba and was able to evade charges.

Another famous case of embezzlement involved the comedian Dane Cook. While Cook’s half-brother managed his money, the brother stole millions of dollars. Throughout Cook’s career, his brother stole and hid money from the celebrity. In one instance, he forged Cook’s signature to write himself a $3 million check. Unlike Vesco, Cook’s brother faced consequences for his actions. A judge sentenced him to six years in prison.

Although you don’t often hear about embezzlement, it is a common enough crime. There are many other cases of embezzlement. Sometimes, the accused faces serious penalties. In other cases, the accused gets off without consequence.

Penalties for Embezzlement

When you face embezzlement charges, the stakes are high. The penalties vary depending on a variety of circumstances. Some of the important factors include your location, your judge, and the circumstances surrounding your case.

If you face the charges in New Jersey, then the penalty mostly depends on how much money you steal. For embezzlement of a value less than $200, the penalty is a fine of $1,000 or less and as much as six months in jail. The higher the property value, the higher the fine and the longer the jail time.

In New Jersey, the most serious penalty for embezzlement comes from embezzlement of property valued at over $75,000. For that crime, you can face ten years in prison and a fine of as much as $150,000.

Your embezzlement charges can result in a criminal conviction. As a result, you could face lifelong consequences. You might have a difficult time finding work or housing. After a conviction, your life might never be the same.

Fighting the Charges

If you find yourself facing embezzlement charges, then you could experience some harsh penalties. However, being charged with embezzlement is not the same as getting a conviction. You have the right to a fair trial. By hiring an experienced lawyer, you can fight back against the charges.

A lawyer who has experience with embezzlement understands the different ways that he can defend you. Although there are many different types of defenses for embezzlement charges, only one defense might work for your case. It takes a lawyer to understand the strategies and choose one that is appropriate for your case.

When your lawyer defends you in court, he may be able to get a judge to dismiss your case. In this case, you would face no legal consequences. If there is too much evidence against you, then a judge can still help. He might be able to convince a judge to minimize your charges or issue a less harsh sentence. In some cases, the lawyer can work with the prosecution to get you a plea deal with a reduced sentence.

No matter what the circumstances, you deserve a chance at a good outcome. Contact a lawyer to find out how he can help you get one.

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