Embezzlement is the misappropriation of funds or other property by a person who was entrusted to use these funds or property for another purpose. Usually, this occurs when an employee steals from an employer, such as when an employee takes money from the cash register or when high-end executives transfer large sums of money into their personal accounts.
Though there is no formal state statute which defines it, embezzlement is a type of theft crime that can lead to severe penalties upon conviction and even after a person has served his sentence because of the implications of dishonesty. A person convicted of embezzlement may have trouble ever acquiring a position at a place of work or school, and may even have difficulty finding a place to live. If you face embezzlement charges in West Palm Beach, preserve your reputation with the aid of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
West Palm Beach Embezzlement Charges
Embezzlement is a white collar crime that can involve simple or elaborate schemes to use another’s assets for personal gain. This offense most often takes place in the employer-employee relationship. Common employee embezzlement schemes include:
- Spending from client funds or accounts
- Altering receipts or account information
- Underreporting profits
- Creating false vendor accounts
- Creating phantom employees
Additionally, embezzlement may be a federal crime in the following scenarios:
- When public money, property, or records are misappropriated.
- When tools and materials used in counterfeiting are embezzled including stamps, printing devices, and more.
- When public money is misappropriated by federal officers, employees, or agents.
- When someone keeps public funds that are not owed to that person.
- When one steals or fraudulently obtains a major work of art or items from a museum.
- Embezzling from a health care benefit plan.
- and other scenarios.
A Misdemeanor and Felony Crime
The charges against one who is accused of embezzlement may be misdemeanor or felony in nature. As with any theft crime, the main factor that determines the severity of the charges against you is the amount that was misappropriated. The penalties you may face may increase exponentially if you face federal embezzlement charges. The penalties listed below apply to state embezzlement charges.
Embezzlement is a second-degree misdemeanor when the misappropriated funds or the value of the misappropriated assets falls below $100. One can face up to 60 days in jail and/ or fines of up to $500 for this offense as a state crime.
Embezzlement becomes a first-degree misdemeanor offense at a value of $100 or more, but not more than $300. This can lead to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 as a state crime.
You can face felony charges for embezzling over $300. Third-degree felony charges await when $300 or more but less than $20,000 are embezzled. One can face up to 5 years in a state prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Second-degree felony embezzlement charges are reserved for values of $20,000 or more but less than $100,000. One can face up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
When more than $100,000 are embezzled, first-degree felony charges apply. One can face up to 30 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Do not hesitate to contact a tough criminal defense attorney in West Palm Beach to fight the embezzlement charges against you. Brian Gabriel has served Palm Beach and surrounding counties for over 25 years providing thorough and competent legal representation. Receive a free case evaluation by calling 561-622-5575 or contact The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel online.