Dumfries Embezzlement Lawyer
One of the more complicated types of fraud is what is known as embezzlement. Embezzlement is a crime similar to that of theft, which is when one person takes the money of another person without their permission. Embezzlement, however, differs in that the person who took the money had it legally in their possession temporarily. When a person is entrusted to manage property or money of another person, and they attempt to deprive the person of their money or property, they are engaging in embezzlement.
Embezzlement is a serious crime that can have far-reaching consequences. If you have been charged with embezzlement, you should consider hiring a dependable fraud attorney and start crafting a legal strategy as soon as possible. If you are convicted of embezzlement, you could permanently damage your reputation and even spend time in prison. A Dumfries embezzlement lawyer could tell you more about your legal options.
Elements of Embezzlement
To prove a person is guilty of embezzlement, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant fraudulently and wrongfully used, concealed, converted, or disposed of property belonging to another person with the intent of permanently depriving them of the property; and that the property was entrusted to the defendant by virtue of their employment, position, or office. Embezzling less than $1,000 will be charged as a misdemeanor, while embezzling $1,000 or more will be charged as a felony.
Embezzlement can take many forms and it can occur in a wide range of scenarios. Common forms of embezzlement include:
- Accountants or bookkeepers falsifying records so they can take assets belonging to the company
- Bank tellers pocketing the money they are entrusted with
- Payroll clerks keeping money for themselves by not depositing enough employment tax and keeping the difference
- Brokers investing the money belonging to clients for other purposes
- Caretakers in charge of paying bills for someone else taking some of the money off the top
Embezzlement can be a one-time occurrence, or it can involve multiple acts over many years. It can also range from a store clerk pocketing $20 all the way up to a CEO taking millions from a company. Regardless of how much money they are accused of taking, a person facing this crime should hire a local embezzlement attorney to help answer the charge.
State and Federal Embezzlement Charges
Embezzlement convictions carry different penalties based on the value of the money or property stolen. It can also be charged as a federal offense if an accused person is believed to have taken money or property from the federal government.
In Virginia, if a person is charged with embezzling less than $1,000, they can face up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $2,500, and possible probation. If they are charged with embezzling $1,000 or more, they can face up to 20 years in jail (with a minimum of one year), up to $2,500 in fines, and possible probation upon their release. A misappropriation lawyer in the area could help make sure that any charge of embezzlement does not overstate the amount that was allegedly stolen.
Federal charges carry more severe penalties, and those convicted of federal embezzlement can face up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. If the amount embezzled is greater than $250,000, the convicted individual may have to pay back the full amount they stole.
Call a Dumfries Embezzlement Attorney
If you are currently facing embezzlement charges, you may feel trapped and worried about your future. However, you have the right to defend yourself. By hiring an attorney to fight on your behalf, you might be able to get your charges dropped or reduced. Call a Dumfries embezzlement lawyer now to find out what could be done about your case.