If you are facing embezzlement charges or accusations, you may wonder what embezzlement charges are and what embezzlement refers to. Embezzlement charges are a type of theft charges and are serious enough that they can carry potentially significant penalties and consequences.
Embezzlement is considered a type of white collar crime and is typically described as the theft, or larceny, of assets, including money or property, by a person who enjoys some type of trust or responsibility for those assets. Embezzlement generally occurs in employment or corporate settings. In circumstances of embezzlement, the party accused of embezzling is commonly lawfully in possession of the property but is then accused of converting the property for personal use.
As an example, the party accused of embezzlement is typically given access to another person’s property to manage the assets according to the best interests of the owner but instead misappropriates the assets for their own interests in a hidden manner. In some instances of embezzlement, large amounts of money will be taken all at once, while in other instances small amounts of money may be taken over a period of time.
There are several elements of the crime of embezzlement. To be charged with embezzlement, the accused individual usually must have been in a fiduciary relationship with the party they are accused of embezzling from and that party must have relied on them; the accused individual must have acquired the assets through the relationship; the accused individual must have taken ownership of the property or transferred it to someone else; and the accused individual must have acted intentionally. Given all that the authorities must prove, there are options for defending against embezzlement charges that it is important for accused individuals to be familiar with.