Embezzlement Defense Attorneys
Embezzlement is the theft, misappropriation, or conversion of monies placed in one’s trust, or which belong to an employer.
For an embezzlement to occur, four factors must be present. First, there must be a financial relationship between the victim and the perpetrator, often known as a fiduciary relationship. This means that one party relied on the other and trusted him or her to handle money, property, or something else of financial value. Common fiduciary relationships that lead to embezzlement include bankers and clients, financial advisers or stock brokers and clients, and employees providing financial services to companies. The mere handling of money is usually not enough to give rise to a fiduciary relationship.
Second, the perpetrator must actually have acquired the property of another through this financial relationship and then transferred possession to the self or a third party. This is an inherent aspect of embezzlement or larceny in general. It is not enough that the perpetrator has access to the property, although often that may be an element of the perpetrator’s job. Instead, the perpetrator must have used that access to convert the property for his or her own personal benefit or the benefit of another.
Finally, the perpetrator’s actions must have been intentional. This is the requirement of fraudulent intent.
We handle embezzlement defense for criminal defendants. Call us today.
Up to $1,500: misdemeanor, penalties include up to one year in jail
$1,500 to $20,000: state jail felony, penalties include up to two years in state jail
$20,000 to $100,000: 3rd degree felony, 2 to 10 years in prison
$100,000 to $200,000: 2nd degree felony, 2 to 20 years in state prison
More than $200,000: 1st degree felony, 5 to 99 years in state prison
Famous Embezzlement Criminal Defendants
Bernie Madoff, founder of Wall Street firm Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, constructed a fraudulent investment scheme now known as the “Ponzi Scheme.” This ploy allowed Madoff to borrow from his investors and pay it back with capital earned from other investors. He then in turn, planned to pay these other investors back with money gained from potential investors. The scheme failed and, though he attempted to pay back some of the investors, they were never paid in full.
In December 2008, the FBI arrested Madoff, charging him with securities fraud. In March 2009, Madoff plead guilty to embezzlement of more than 50 billion dollars through his Ponzi scheme. Sentenced to 150 years in prison, and to pay back every one of his investors, Madoff will spend the rest of his life in prison.