What Is Embezzlement?

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in White Collar Crime

Illionois defense attorney, Illinois federal crimes lawyer, Illinois criminal defense lawyerEmbezzlement is a type of white collar crime that comes with serious consequences for those convicted. Embezzlement occurs when someone entrusted with certain property takes that property. For example, a bookkeeper who takes money from her employer may be convicted of embezzlement. Federal prosecutors must prove the following elements to convict someone of embezzlement:
  • There was a trust or fiduciary relationship between the accused and the company or government agency;
  • The property came into the possession or care of the accused by virtue of his or her employment;
  • The accused’s dealings with the property constituted a fraudulent conversion or appropriation of it to his or her own use; and
  • The accused acted with the intent to deprive the owner of the use of this property.
Embezzlement is a crime that often takes place over a long period of time. In these cases, the perpetrator will gradually divert small sums of money into his or her bank account, hoping that these amounts will go undetected. U.S. courts have stated that someone accused of embezzlement cannot escape a conviction by arguing that the property would be returned or was returned. Even a temporary taking of the property is illegal.

Embezzlement vs. Larceny

Embezzlement differs from theft or larceny in that with theft or larceny, when the defendant took the property, the defendant must have had intent to take. With embezzlement, the defendant comes into possession of the property lawfully or with the consent of the rightful owner.

When Will Embezzlement Be a Federal Crime?

Embezzlement can be a state or federal crime. The elements of the crime are essentially the same regardless of whether state or federal charges are brought. If it is a state crime, the trial will occur in state court and, if there is a conviction, the defendant will serve a prison sentence in state prison. Some cases of embezzlement will be tried in federal court. To be considered a federal case of embezzlement, there typically must be an instance of an act or communication across state lines. This requirement is often met by wiring the money or by mailing documents out of state.

Contact a Chicago, IL Embezzlement Lawyer

If you have been charged with embezzlement, there are specific defenses you can raise. A qualified Chicago, IL embezzlement attorney will know what your best arguments will be in a courtroom in front of a jury. A lawyer will also know how to navigate all pre-trial proceedings and negotiations, which can take months to conclude.

To set up your free initial consultation, call our firm at 312-629-0669. In order to serve our clients fully, our phones are answered 24 hours a day.



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