The Crime of Embezzlement from a ‘Vulnerable Adult’
Embezzlement is a type of theft that occurs when an individual entrusted with managing someone else’s money or property steals some or all of that money or property for personal gain.
People most commonly associate embezzlement with corporate settings — such as executives who have organized schemes to steal from their company or clients. However, this crime may also be present in other situations, including when a person who is entrusted with caring for someone considered “vulnerable” steals that person’s money.
A “vulnerable” adult could be someone who is elderly or disabled. For example, elderly people in nursing homes who no longer have the capacity to take care of their own finances often have a trusted relative or acquaintance who handles those responsibilities for them. A person who would take advantage of this position and steal the money would be committing the crime of embezzlement.
In some jurisdictions, committing embezzlement against a vulnerable victim could even be considered an aggravating factor, meaning the perpetrators could face much more severe penalties as a result of their actions.
Covering all your bases
If you are entrusted with managing the assets of someone who is sick, disabled or simply incapable of doing it themselves, it is important to make sure you are fulfilling your duties responsibly. If important financial decisions need to be made, you must get the appropriate permission before making them yourself.
To learn more about what constitutes embezzlement in Pennsylvania and how you can defend yourself when accused of committing this crime, speak with skilled Reading criminal defense attorney David R. Eshelman.