Embezzlement is fraudulently taking property that has been entrusted to you. In other words, to be convicted of embezzlement, you must have been given possession of the property in question.
Embezzlement nearly always occurs in the employment setting. An employee is entrusted with managing money or property on behalf of his or her employer, and is charged with taking that property for personal gain. This can be as simple as taking money from the cash register, or can involve much more elaborate schemes to take money from an employer. Even temporarily taking property that was entrusted to you, while planning to give it back at a later time, can amount to embezzlement. However, returning the property can mitigate the sentence imposed. As with all theft crimes, the prosecution must prove that the defendant intentionally took the property.
Embezzlement is a form of theft. As with all forms of theft, the potential charge depends upon the value of the property involved. If the value of property or money allegedly taken is over $950, the embezzlement can be charged as grand theft. If the value is under $950, the embezzlement will be charged as petty theft. If there is a pattern of embezzlement, the multiple acts of taking money or property can be added together to create a value over $950 and a charge of grand theft. The value of the property allegedly taken can have a major impact on sentencing and on whether the crime is treated as a misdemeanor or a felony.
Embezzlement cases are often complex, particularly where elaborate schemes are charged against high-ranking company officers. Extensive trails of evidence may be involved. Some embezzlement cases turn upon misunderstandings of what the employee was authorized to do, resulting in a lack of the required intent to commit the crime. Charges of theft from an employer can be devastating to your career. Embezzlement cases are sensitive matters, requiring a criminal defense attorney with discretion and experience.
An experienced Orange County embezzlement defense attorney will help defend your embezzlement case. The Law Offices of Vincent J. LaBarbera, Jr. has represented people charged with embezzlement and other theft crimes for almost 40 years. We understand the sensitive and potentially devastating impact of these charges. We will thoroughly investigate your case, advise you of all of your options, and represent you aggressively. For a confidential evaluation of your case, call us today at (949) 662-1791.