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What You Need to Know About the Penalties for Embezzlement

Embezzlement is one of those crimes many people have heard of, but few really understand. It is a unique form of property theft that occurs when someone illegally takes money or property in a situation in which they were entrusted. This differs from garden-variety theft because embezzlement is dependent on a trusting relationship existing among two or more parties.

Being entrusted with property means that someone has allowed you access to that property without an ownership stake in it. For instance, a bank teller is someone with a relationship of trust with his or her employees to handle cash and other assets. Other people who are in similar situations may include investors, accountants and brokers. Even family members who handle another person’s financial management are in a position of trust.

How to prosecutors prove embezzlement?

For a conviction on embezzlement charges to occur, defendants must have intended to take the property with which they were entrusted. It is important that they both meant to take the property and were aware of their position of trust for the act to be considered embezzlement. If, for instance, defendants were unaware of their position of trust, the act might be considered theft instead.

The potential penalties for embezzlement can be quite serious. If convicted, you may be required to pay fines, serve prison time and provide restitution to victims. The extent of the sanctions often depends on the scope of the crime. If an individual has stolen a large amount of money, he or she might face tougher penalties.

When you’re facing embezzlement charges in Pennsylvania, don’t hesitate to secure reliable legal counsel. Work with respected criminal defense lawyer David R. Eshelman today.

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