How Embezzlement Is Charged

 Posted on April 19,2018 in Felonies & Misdemeanors

Illinois defense lawyerBeing accused of embezzlement does not only threatens a person’s reputation and career but also their freedom. Embezzlement occurs when someone who was legally given access to property intentionally uses that property in an unlawful way.

Attempting to Prove Embezzlement

Embezzlement can occur for different forms of property, including:

  • Cash – This can include stealing from a coworker’s register, refunding stolen items, or taking cash that was left in a customer’s purse or wallet.
  • Checks – Examples include forging checks or depositing money into false accounts.
  • Company materials – Materials like equipment, supplies, and scrap materials may be embezzled.
  • Falsified accounts – The event occurs if a non-existent employee is added to the payroll or an inactive account is used for credit.

To convict a person for embezzlement, the prosecution must argue that the following occurred:

  • Breach of Trust: There was a relationship based on trust between the person who was given access to the property, and an organization, government official, or employer who gave them access to the property. This trust was violated by the person’s actions.
  • Misappropriation or Fraud: The person who was given access to the property misappropriated the property. They may have used the other party’s property for their own personal gain or transferred the property to another person.
  • Commission of the Crime with Intent: The person knew what they were doing and willingly took or transferred the property from their employer. Even if the person returns the property later, they can be charged if they stole intentionally.

Embezzlement Penalties

Embezzlement can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the value of the property that was stolen and who it was stolen from.

Theft under $500 not from a person is a misdemeanor. However, the theft reaches class 3 felony level if the theft is from a person and ranges from $500 to $10,000. It can result in two to five years prison. A theft under $500 can also be charged as a class 4 felony if the theft occurred in a school or place of worship, or if government property was stolen. A class 4 felony sentence carries three to six years prison.

Defending Against Embezzlement Allegations

If you are being charged with embezzlement, it is crucial to that you speak with a lawyer. An Arlington Heights theft defense lawyers can represent you in court and defend you against serious embezzlement allegations. Call Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law, at 847-253-3400 to begin a free consultation.



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