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What is embezzlement?

On Behalf of | Mar 1, 2021 | White Collar Crimes |

If charged with a white collar crime, you may still face heavy fines, penalties and jail time. To be able to defend against embezzlement charges, you need to know the laws that are against you.

According to the Department of Justice, embezzlement is the misuse of funds by an employee, employer or organization.

What separates embezzlement from theft?

There is a lot of confusion when it comes to embezzlement and larceny. The major difference between the two is that the person guilty of embezzlement does not steal the money or assets. If charged with embezzlement, a person or organization entrusted you with the funds and you had full consent of the owner of the assets to handle them. When it comes to larceny, you would have to have a felonious intent when you took the assets.

How can the courts prove embezzlement?

Embezzlement is a specific intent crime. You have to intend to deprive the company of the assets. Now, this does not necessarily mean that you plan to take the assets or funds permanently. It could be a case where you plan to use the funds, then return them at a later time. You cannot use an intent to return the property as an excuse for embezzlement.

However, for the court to prove embezzlement, it has to verify that there was a fiduciary relationship between you and the other party. You have to receive the assets because your employment and your dealings need to be fraudulent for your use.

To prove embezzlement, the court has to prove that you had illegal intent to begin with.