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What is embezzlement?

Felonies may include not only violent crimes such as assault, armed robbery, rape and terrorist acts, but also white collar crimes such as embezzlement. Embezzlement is the larceny or theft of assets such as property or money by a person granted responsibility over said assets. In many cases, embezzlement takes place in a corporate setting.

It is not uncommon for an employee to embezzle money by misappropriating assets from a company for his or her own personal gain. This is often done by someone who has the power, authority or responsibility of monitoring a company's assets such as a Human Resources payroll employee, treasurer or Chief Financial Officer or a company.

There are four factors that courts will look at to determine whether an embezzlement crime has taken place. First, the accused must be a fiduciary relationship between the two parties, meaning that one side must be relied upon by the other party. The accused must have taken property or assets or transferred monies to someone else, and these monies must have been acquired through the relationship between the accused and the victim. Lastly, the actions of the accused must be intentional.

Someone found guilty of embezzlement will be subjected to substantial fines and penalties including significant time in prison. If you are accused of any felony, it may be in your best interest to seek out professional help from a criminal defense firm familiar with criminal law in an effort to protect your name, reputation and future. Having the right defense team at your side can make all the difference.

Source: findlaw.com, "Embezzlement," Accessed Jan. 10, 2017

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