EMBEZZLEMENT CHARGES : Overview & How To Get Out Of it

Embezzlement charge
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An embezzlement charge occurs when someone takes all or part of the money or property entrusted to them by another person for their own gain. This is not only a crime in itself but a betrayal to the person who has entrusted the taker with his belongings. However, in many nations, including the US, embezzlement is a form of theft and is punishable by law.

Embezzlement can take many forms, both minor and huge. Embezzling money can be as simple as a cashier pocketing a few dollars from the register. On a larger scale, it occurs when CEOs of huge corporations wrongly expense millions of dollars and transfer the monies to personal accounts.

In this article, we discussed the charge and sentence for embezzlement on a federal level against embezzlers as well as the charges in Michigan and Texas. We also talked about how to get out of embezzlement charges for people facing one.

Understanding Embezzlement

Embezzlement is a type of white-collar crime in which someone misappropriates assets that have been entrusted to them. The embezzler obtains the funds legally and has the right to possess them in this sort of fraud. But the assets are then used for unpopular reasons.

Individuals who have access to an organization’s funds should keep those monies safe and put them to their intended use. Moreover, it’s illegal to gain access to that money to convert it to personal use. Diverting cash to accounts that appear to be legal to receive payments or transfers is one example of such activity.

The account, on the other hand, is merely a front through which the individual with whom they are partnering receive funds. To disguise the transfer of funds as a genuine transaction, an embezzler could generate bills and receipts for business operations or services that were never fulfilled.

Furthermore, an embezzler may work with a partner who acts as a consultant or contractor on bills and receives payment but never delivers the services for which they are being paid.

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How Does Embezzlement Occur

When someone steals or misappropriates something they were entrusted to manage or safeguard, it is embezzlement. Embezzlement does not need that the property or asset be of significant worth. Although similar to fraud, embezzlement differs in that the embezzler had permission to use or manage the property or finances.

Embezzlement can join with other types of fraud, such as Ponzi schemes, in some cases. In such circumstances, the embezzler deceives investors into entrusting them with their assets so that they might invest on their behalf, but the money is instead used for personal gain and enrichment. Maintaining the deception frequently entails finding new investors to bring in more money to placate previous investors.

Aside from money, an embezzler may transfer other assets. An embezzler may claim the real estate, business vehicles, smartphones, and other company-owned hardware, such as laptops, for personal use.

Employees in the government sector may commit embezzlement by taking local, state, or national funds for themselves. When money is disbursed to complete contracts or support projects, and a member of the staff skims some of the money that was earmarked, this might happen.

People who embezzle money face embezzlement charges with a felony and/or are held civilly liable for their actions. Punishment might include anything from monetary damages and restitution to incarceration. Embezzlement crimes do not exclude offenders from receiving a lengthy jail sentence, which is often reserved for dangerous offenders.

How to Get Out of Embezzlement Charges

There’s nothing wrong with making the government prosecutors prove their case. In reality, it is frequently a successful method of defending yourself against embezzlement charges, particularly if there is insufficient evidence to show your guilt. If you’re facing an embezzlement charge, remember that you have the right to defend yourself against all accusations. In other words, you’re innocent until proven guilty. Below are tips on how to get out of embezzlement charges.

See Also: How to Beat Embezzlement charges

#1. Counter the Evidence

Reasonably, the clearest defence to get out of embezzlement charges is to show that you simply did not take the money. You can contest the veracity of the evidence as you would any other accusation. This is a very powerful deterrent against an embezzlement sentence. 

Financial transactions are frequently difficult, even when they appear to be absolutely innocent. It may be feasible to show the court that your acts did not constitute embezzlement. Perhaps the authorities are attempting to catch you on a technicality, and you may be able to show that the accusation itself is incorrect.

#2. Demonstrate a Lack of Intent

You can also get out of embezzlement charges even on a federal level by simply showing you didn’t intend to commit the crime. In the United States, the concept of intent is recognized by the legal system. To be guilty of a crime, you must be aware that you were doing one and have made the decision to do so. As a result, if you mistakenly believed that corporate assets belonged to you, you may be able to avoid an embezzlement sentence.

The intention is a critical component of any criminal charge. Therefore, prosecutors must demonstrate that the act in question was performed on intent. Again, the world of high finance is complex. Yes, you could have moved money, but it could have been a simple clerical error. Perhaps you thought the money was yours to take because of the complexity of your contract. Also, you could insist you were on a medication that clouded your thinking, or you were facing an ailment that left you befuddled. Or, Perhaps you were dealing with a big life stressor that clouded your judgment. 

#3. Demonstrate that you acted under Duress

Another way to get out of embezzlement charges and avoid the sentence is by proving that you acted under duress. When you act against your will, you are said to be “under duress”. Furthermore, there are dangerous, immoral criminals in the world, and sometimes good individuals find themselves in the bad guy’s orbit. For example, you find yourself doing business with criminals who may have targeted you as a partner. Hence, it can be alleged that you started putting money out to pay off dangerous people who threatened your life.

In a less dramatic scenario, you could have been working under an unethical boss. Perhaps you were directly commanded to begin illegally shifting money. The law frequently recognizes the power relations that exist in the workplace. You can utilize this duress as a defence against an embezzlement charge if you were functioning under directives from above.

#4. Demonstrate you took the money for a legitimate reason

You could avoid an embezzlement jail sentence if you can prove legitimacy behind the reason for your action. If your job description obliged you to spend money on behalf of the company, you may have done so for valid reasons. That example, you may have taken money to use for business needs. You may be able to effectively get out of the embezzlement charge if you have a legally valid justification for your actions.

Once again, remember that you are innocent until the court proves otherwise, and you have the right to a defence under the law. Whatever charges are against you, you have the right to fight them in embezzlement or criminal trial. Speak with an expert attorney who can assist you in preparing a credible defence in court.

Embezzlement Charges in Texas

An Embezzlement charge frequently develops in the workplace, when an employee with access to corporate cash is accused of misappropriating a portion of those funds for personal gain. Embezzlement charges is a type of theft under Texas law.

The Texas Penal Code charges embezzlement and other forms of theft based on the amount of money involved. For example, if the allegedly stolen property is worth less than $50, the offence is a Class C misdemeanour punishable by a fine of up to $500. 

Secondly, Texas charges embezzlement as a Class B misdemeanour for amounts between $50 and $500 and is punishable by a fine of up to $2,000, a jail sentence of no more than 180 days, or both. 

Thirdly, Embezzlement is a Class A misdemeanour in Texas if the amount in question is $500 to $1,500 and the charge is a fine of up to $4,000 and a one-year jail sentence. In a broader circumstance, Embezzlement becomes a felony if the amount stolen exceeds $1,500 and Texas charges against felonies can range from 180 days to live in prison, depending on the amount stolen.

Nevertheless, if you’re facing embezzlement charges, you reserve the right to use one of several defences in Texas. In other circumstances, embezzlement did occur, but it was committed by someone other than you. It’s also possible that you were wrongly implicated by a coworker who harboured grudges against you. An aggressive defence counsel can often dismiss an embezzlement charge by disputing the state’s or federal evidence and undermining the credibility of prosecution witnesses.

Embezzlement Charges in Michigan

Embezzlement is not seen differently by Michigan state, however, the charges are different from Texas as well as the sentence.

A person who as the agent, servant, or employee of another person, government entity within the state of Michigan, other legal entity, trustee, bailee, or custodian of the property of another person, fraudulently disposes of, transfers for personal use, or takes with the intent to convert to personal use without consent, any money or other personal property that has come to that person’s possession or that is under his or her control is guilty of embezzlement”

Michigan Panel Code

According to this Michigan panel code, embezzlement charges is meted on the employee or anyone for that matter, who fraudulently disposes money under his care without the consent of the original owner. In other words, consent from the owner would have set the alleged free of all charges on embezzlement as long as Michigan code is concerned.

Embezzlement Charges and Sentence in Michigan

If you have possession of another person’s or a business’s money or property and are suspected of disposing of it unlawfully, you could face the following embezzlement charges in Michigan:

  • Embezzlement less than $200: a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail.
  • $200 or more but less than $1,000: a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.
  • $1,000 or more but less than $20,000: a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
  • $20,000 or more but less than $50,000: a felony punishable by up to ten years in prison.
  • $50,000 or more but less than $100,000: a felony punishable by up to fifteen years in prison.
  • $100,000 or more: a felony punishable by up to twenty years in prison

Embezzlement is a serious crime that frequently raises complicated legal concerns. If you’re guilty, you may face not only jail time and penalties. Also, you’d owe a duty to pay restitution (or payback) to the victim. Furthermore, damage to your reputation, future work opportunities, and a permanent criminal record.

An embezzlement conviction may affect your ability to vote or own a firearm in some situations. It is critical that you hire an expert Grand Rapids embezzlement lawyer for your case. Don’t leave your case or your future to chance.

Federal Embezzlement Charges

The majority of people convicted of embezzlement do not fit the stereotype of a criminal. According to a national survey of embezzlement charges in the United States federal government; the most likely embezzlement offender is a woman in her forties with no criminal history. A prevalent fallacy is that most people steal money to support a drug, gambling, or addiction habit. In truth, two-thirds of those guilty of embezzlement do so to maintain their standard of living. Some others do so to pay off their outstanding expenses and/or obligations.

For an embezzlement charge to be a federal crime, it must be undeviatingly against the US government. Perhaps one that follows considerations for the violation of other federal offences by individuals entrusted with the control of the properties.

When a person commits federal embezzlement, the value of the crime is calculated using the $1000 mark. This determines whether the criminal act is charged as a felony or a misdemeanour. Only crimes are subject to maximum fines of $250,000, whereas misdemeanours face lesser penalties. If guilty, the sentence could range from a few months to 30 years, depending on the type of crime. Some factors may include the time of the activities, the length of the theft and the circumstances of the case. In addition, the amount of trust upon the person for their position, and whether or not they have a criminal history.

 Exmaple of Federal Embezzelment Charges

One example of federal embezzlement charges that follow the standards for other crimes prosecuted in federal courts can start with a wire fraud allegation. If the offender was a federal employee entrusted with oversight of federal funds or property through the use of “wires” (telephone, computer, etc.), the government could file charges as federal embezzlement, wire fraud, or both.

Individuals facing federal embezzlement charges should consult with a federal criminal defence attorney. He or she may be able to negotiate a plea arrangement for the offender that reduces the jail sentence. Secondly, he or she may reach an agreement in which the defendant agrees to reimburse the funds in exchange for freedom. Furthermore, he or she may file a solid legal defence to submit at the defendant’s trial.

Conclusion

You have seen the meaning of embezzlement and the charge that comes with it. You have also learnt the possible ways one could get out of embezzlement charges against him. Embezzlement both on federal and state levels is a fraudulent act, and as seen in this post, embezzlement charges are treated differently in Michigan and Texas cities of the US. Notwithstanding, it is a crime that is punishable under law and must be avoided at all costs. 

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What evidence is needed for embezzlement

To prove this element, the prosecutor must present evidence that the victim actually owned the property in question, and that they willfully conveyed it to you. The owner did so because they trusted you

What are examples of embezzlement

  • Forging Checks. In this type of embezzlement, an employee writes a company check to themselves, then cooks books to conceal the theft.
  • Cashing Customer Checks. In this instance, a member of staff endorses client checks and cashes them, then keeps the money. …
  • Overbilling Customers.

What is the average sentence for embezzlement

For embezzling $100,000 or less, criminal faces up to 15 years in jail and a $25,000 minimum punishment. For embezzlement of more than $100,000, the penalty is up to 20 years in jail and a minimum fine of $50,000.

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