What is the Crime of Embezzlement in Illinois?

 Posted on August 16,2023 in Criminal Law

Il defense lawyerIn the realm of white-collar crimes, typically non-violent offenses that are financially motivated, embezzlement is a serious offense that can have far-reaching consequences for individuals and organizations. Today, we will examine the legal complexities surrounding embezzlement in the state of Illinois, unpacking the reasons why it is considered to be such a serious offense. If you have been charged with embezzlement, contact a criminal defense attorney with experience defending clients against white-collar crime charges. 

Understanding Embezzlement

Embezzlement is a specific form of theft where an individual entrusted with money or property, typically as an employee or fiduciary, a fiduciary being someone who is authorized to handle money or property to someone else, wrongfully takes or misappropriates those assets for personal gain. The critical element distinguishing embezzlement from other theft crimes is the violation of trust. 

Elements of Embezzlement 

To establish a case of embezzlement, such as with other criminal proceedings, the prosecution must prove certain elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • It must demonstrate a fiduciary relationship or an employment agreement, enabling the defendant to have control over the funds or property in question.
  • The prosecution must establish that the defendant gained unauthorized control over the property, meaning they retained, used, or disposed of it without proper consent from the rightful owner.
  • It must be shown that the defendant acted with fraudulent intent, deliberately intending to deceive or defraud the owner.

Penalties for Embezzlement

The severity of the penalties faced by an individual convicted of embezzlement in Illinois depends on the value of the stolen assets. If the property's value is less than $500, the penalty is classified as a Class A Misdemeanor. However, if the property's value is between $500 and $10,o00 it is considered a Class 3 felony. Moreover, if the value is between $10,000 and $100,000, this is a Class 2 felony. A Class 1 felony is considered property valued at $100,000 and $500,000. Finally, stealing property valued at more than $1,000,000 is a Class X felony. 

Depending on the value of what you have been charged with stealing, you could be looking at anywhere from a year or so in prison to decades upon decades in prison.  

Contact an Arlington Heights, IL Criminal Defense Lawyer 

It is crucial to obtain legal counsel when facing charges related to a theft crime. If you have been charged with this serious form of theft crime, contact the experienced Rolling Meadows, IL criminal defense attorney with Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law. Call 847-253-3400 for a free consultation.

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