Embezzlement is a type of theft where someone who is trusted to handle someone else’s money steals some of it for themselves. What separates embezzlement from other types of theft is that he alleged perpetrator legally had access to the funds or property without owning it. There are several circumstances under which embezzlement can happen. Bank tellers and bank officers of the bank have access to clients’ money, for example. Or, employees of a company can also embezzle funds from that company. Even in a power of attorney situation, someone can embezzle money for personal gain. The key is that the defendant was in a position of trust and was seen to abuse that position.
Punishment for Embezzlement
The punishment for embezzlement can range anywhere from a strong fine to prison time, depending on the severity of the offense and the jurisdiction. In most cases, the more you embezzle, the more severe the penalty will be. Most states have a scale for punishment to which sentencing judges adhere. Also, the type of property that was embezzled can also determine the punishment. If the property that is stolen can be an ingredient in the manufacturing of an illegal drug, for instance, then the penalty may be harsher.
Defendants may also have to pay restitution to their victims in the amount of what was stolen. This amount would be on top of any fines that they may have been issued.
In many states, if the victim is part of a vulnerable and protected class of citizens, the penalty may be harsher. Senior citizens and the disables are two examples of those who are more vulnerable, and often have a high level trust in others as a necessity. Because of that position of trust, embezzling from those citizens is considered worse than embezzling others. Another common aggravating factor is for civil servants. Those who would embezzle from the government risk higher fines and tougher penalties.
Embezzlement is a serious crime that can have serious consequences. If you have been charged with embezzlement, contact an attorney right away to defend your innocence and protect your rights.
If you’re in need of a Criminal Defense attorney who will get the results you need, contact the Law Offices of Mark Herman. Reach out online or call 612-382-4545 for a free consultation.