Have you been accused of taking money or property from an employer or clients? Embezzling is a serious crime in Arkansas and elsewhere. If convicted for such a crime, the consequences can be quite severe.
The media often reports embezzling schemes. Some of them are big cases, some of them are small. All of them affect numerous people. As so many people can be hurt by this type of criminal activity, prosecuting attorneys are not going to treat these cases lightly.
Common types of embezzlement schemes
There are many types of embezzlement schemes, too many to list here really. Some of the most common include:
- Falsifying records
- Paying nonexistent employees
- Taking and failing to return company equipment
- Pocketing a large lump sum
- Pocketing small amounts of cash over time
- Transferring property into your own name or the name of a loved one
As previously stated, not all schemes are big. They could involve store clerks pocketing cash during their shifts or a tech support person taking computers or other equipment home with no intention of returning it. Of course, there are the big schemes that everyone has heard of — think Bernie Madoff. This scheme cost numerous people their life savings.
Elements of an embezzlement case
In order for a prosecuting attorney to obtain a conviction in an embezzlement case, he or she must show that certain elements exist in your case. There are four elements needed, these are:
- Proof that you were in a position of trust
- Proof that you acquired money or property while in that trusted position
- Proof that property or money was actually taken
- Proof that you had intent to take the money or property for your own personal gain
Proving that all four of these elements exist is not necessarily an easy job for prosecuting attorneys, which can prove beneficial for you.
In Arkansas, the punishments for embezzling may include time behind bars and hefty fines, among others. Even if a court does not convict you, the accusations alone can be enough to destroy your personal and professional life. Thankfully, you have the right to defend yourself and fight to protect your freedom and your reputation. If facing criminal charges for embezzlement, the sooner you seek help and get to work on your case the better.