What is Embezzlement and How Can it Hurt Your Reputation?

reputationWhat is Embezzlement?

One of the leading categories of white collar crime is embezzlement. Fairfax County, on their website (here) defines embezzlement as: “A person commits embezzlement when they wrongfully take, steal, or use property belonging to another by virtue of one’s office, trust, or employment.” When a person’s position of trust handling the property of another opens the way for him to misappropriate that property (or money), the resulting crime is embezzlement.

Common Examples of Embezzlement

[1] High Profile Cases, such as that of Bernie Madoff, make the headlines.

[2] Borrowing a small amount [say $20] from petty cash, fully intending to “pay it back,” but never getting around to it.

[3] Turning in false expense account reports, pocketing the extra money.

[4] Falsifying overtime records so as to get paid for hours not worked.

These are just a few of the commonplace ways embezzlement is encountered in everyday life. Remember, it is very easy for someone to be accused of embezzling. It happens every day.

What are the Legal and Personal Ramifications for Embezzlement Convictions?

The legal penalties can be quite daunting. According to the Virginia Criminal Code, conviction on a first-offense felony embezzlement charge can lead to as much as twenty years in prison and a $2500 fine. A misdemeanor conviction for embezzlement [property value or money not more than $200] is less in terms of time of incarceration, but the fines may be as expensive. In either case, a second conviction for embezzlement is likely to bring stronger penalties.

But, the personal ramifications of any form of embezzlement conviction can be even more troublesome. Any felony conviction, for embezzlement or any other crime, is going to impact the offender throughout life. Certain rights are relinquished and the criminal record becomes a matter of public record. For crimes of embezzlement there are other concerns as well. Since, by definition, embezzlement is a crime against trust, the convicted offender is going to encounter great difficulty in any area of employment that has trust as an essential element. It can also impact the offender’s hope to do community service or volunteer work.

Can a Lawyer Really Help?

Since the legal and personal ramifications of a conviction are so significant, any person being charged with embezzlement in any form ought to utilize the services of an attorney that has experience in handling such lawsuits. An experienced embezzlement attorney can bring all of the idiosyncrasies of the law to bear on the case as it is adjudicated in the courts. This expands the client’s hopes for acquittal on the one hand, or lesser penalties on the other. Embezzlement is not an incidental crime to be charged with. An attorney with personal experience in the corporate environment is a huge plus.

What is Embezzlement?

One of the leading categories of white collar crime is embezzlement. Fairfax County, on their website (here) defines embezzlement as: “A person commits embezzlement when they wrongfully take, steal, or use property belonging to another by virtue of one’s office, trust, or employment.” When a person’s position of trust handling the property of another opens the way for him to misappropriate that property (or money), the resulting crime is embezzlement.

Common Examples of Embezzlement

[1] High Profile Cases, such as that of Bernie Madoff, make the headlines.

[2] Borrowing a small amount [say $20] from petty cash, fully intending to “pay it back,” but never getting around to it.

[3] Turning in false expense account reports, pocketing the extra money.

[4] Falsifying overtime records so as to get paid for hours not worked.

These are just a few of the commonplace ways embezzlement is encountered in everyday life. Remember, it is very easy for someone to be accused of embezzling. It happens every day.

What are the Legal and Personal Ramifications for Embezzlement Convictions?

The legal penalties can be quite daunting. According to the Virginia Criminal Code, conviction on a first-offense felony embezzlement charge can lead to as much as twenty years in prison and a $2500 fine. A misdemeanor conviction for embezzlement [property value or money not more than $200] is less in terms of time of incarceration, but the fines may be as expensive. In either case, a second conviction for embezzlement is likely to bring stronger penalties.

But, the personal ramifications of any form of embezzlement conviction can be even more troublesome. Any felony conviction, for embezzlement or any other crime, is going to impact the offender throughout life. Certain rights are relinquished and the criminal record becomes a matter of public record. For crimes of embezzlement there are other concerns as well. Since, by definition, embezzlement is a crime against trust, the convicted offender is going to encounter great difficulty in any area of employment that has trust as an essential element. It can also impact the offender’s hope to do community service or volunteer work.

Can a Lawyer Really Help?

Since the legal and personal ramifications of a conviction are so significant, any person being charged with embezzlement in any form ought to utilize the services of an attorney that has experience in handling such lawsuits. An experienced embezzlement attorney can bring all of the idiosyncrasies of the law to bear on the case as it is adjudicated in the courts. This expands the client’s hopes for acquittal on the one hand, or lesser penalties on the other. Being convicted of embezzlement makes it more difficult to obtain employment versus other crimes since people do not want to hire someone who has stolen when put in a position of trust. Embezzlement is not an incidental crime to be charged with. An attorney with personal experience in the corporate environment is a huge plus.

 

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