No matter how honest of a person you are or how good you are to people, there are still who will take up any chance to pull you down. These are the people who will plot against you for crimes you didn’t commit, and embezzlement is one of those.
No crime can tarnish your reputation like embezzlement, also known as stealing money or property. But it’s a little more specific than that: the person who is stealing the money or property should somehow be in charge of it. For instance, your boss gave you a part of the company’s cash to keep it safe for a while, and if you use that cash for your own personal gain, you could face embezzlement charges.
Let’s get into more detail.
Embezzlement charges are severe, and if someone has wrongfully charged you for embezzlement, you need to make sure the charges are dropped because it could stain your reputation forever.
There are several types of embezzlement such as:
- Cash skimming: Putting the cash from the sale into your own pocket instead of the register/account.
- Wire-transfer: Manipulating the company’s cash records and stealing the money via wire-transfer.
- Negotiables: This is a complex way of embezzling money; the person manipulates the company accounts to transfer money to their own account, via refund authorizations, credit and debit memos, customer money orders and computerized checks.
- Computer-based: This involves hacking company accounts and intercept transactions to rig the money.
Embezzlement Laws by State
Embezzlement charges and laws differ by state, you can find a list of embezzlement laws and penalties by state here, on FederalCharges.
When you’re in for embezzlement, a lot is on the line. The punishments vary on an assortment of conditions. A portion of the significant variables incorporate your area, your judge, and the conditions encompassing your case.
If you’re charged with embezzlement in New Jersey, the punishment generally relies upon how much cash you take. For theft of a worth under $200, the punishment is a fine of $1,000 or less and as much as a half year in prison. The higher the property estimation, the higher the fine and the more drawn out the prison time.
In New Jersey, the most serious punishment for embezzlement originates from theft of property estimated at over $75,000. For that crime, you can confront ten years in jail and a fine of as much as $150,000.
How to Prosecute someone for Embezzlement?
If you suspect anyone of embezzlement around you, whether your home, workplace or your surroundings, it is your civil duty to report them. Embezzlement is a serious crime and shall never go unpunished.
To prosecute someone, you should have evidence that all of these are true:
- The defendant owed the victim who was allegedly embezzled a fiduciary obligation of trust. This means that the defendant held a legal obligation to act in accordance with the injured party’s best interests because the victim was relying on the defendant.
- The defendant unlawfully obtained the allegedly stolen property through his or her fiduciary relationship.
- The defendant took personal ownership of the allegedly stolen property or transferred ownership of the allegedly stolen property to another party.
- The defendant acted intentionally.
The only way to prosecute someone is reporting to the police or law enforcement, and hiring yourself an attorney.
Before that, if the money was protected by insurance, you should inform the insurance company as soon as you find out the money has been stolen, even before you suspect someone.
How to beat an Embezzlement Charge?
Embezzlement charges against you can bring about a criminal conviction. Subsequently, you could confront long lasting results. You may struggle looking for some kind of employment or housing. After a conviction, your life may never be the same.
There are ways that you can get out of embezzlement charges, such as:
Insufficient evidence: Almost 40% of embezzlement cases are dropped because prosecutors are not able to provide sufficient evidence.
Duress: If you truly believed you were at risk of significant loss unless you embezzled the funds, you may be able to use duress as your defense. This may work if you faced the scenario of losing your job if you chose not to embezzle the funds, for example.
Intent: One of the main elements of proving embezzlement is intent, if you, as the defendant can prove that you thought that you were the legal owner of the funds, you could get away with it.
Expiration: This defense can be used if the prosecutor didn’t proceed with the case in due time.
Plea of Nolo Contendere: In this plea, you choose to plead neither guilty nor innocent. The court determines the truth by examining the evidence presented by the defense. This plea can only be entered with court permission.
Repayment: If you repay the embezzled funds, you can have a reduction in the sentence, but you will get no more leverage than that. The crime was done which is punishable by law.
If you’ve embezzled funds, there is no way you can walk free. Yes, the strategies proposed above may work in your case or help your sentence reduce, but it is important to note that embezzlement is a serious crime and is surely punishable by law.
The punishment often varies by the amount of embezzlement, the bigger the scale of the crime, the bigger the punishment. Fines and imprisonment is the most common punishment, but the most significant punishment is your record. This stain on your record lives with you forever, making it harder to look for jobs or housing, and this soon becomes something that people associate with your personality.
Embezzlement is a serious crime, make sure you steer clear of it. Moreover, if you ever suspect someone of this crime, you should take the responsibility to report it to police authorities and make the criminal pay under the law.