Your Embezzlement Defense Lawyers

Charges of embezzlement can be very serious and are vigorously prosecuted. Not only are there significant criminal consequences, but a conviction of embezzlement can end your career. If you have been accused of embezzlement, you need a defense team that understands white collar cases and knows how to build a solid strategy to protect you.

What is Embezzlement?

Penal Code §503 defines Embezzlement as the “fraudulent/unlawful appropriation of property by a person to whom it has been entrusted”.

Under California Law, Embezzlement is a white collar crime that is commonly referred to as employee theft and employee fraud. Embezzlement is simply one way to commit a theft. The value of the alleged embezzled property will determine whether you are penalized under:

Penal Code §487 Grand Theft If the value of the embezzled property is worth more than $950, or if you embezzled a firearm (Grand Theft Fire Arm) or car (Grand Theft Auto) regardless of their values.

Penal Code §488 Petty Theft If the value of the embezzled property is worth $950 or less.

What must the prosecution prove to convict someone of Embezzlement?

In order to be found guilty of embezzlement, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant:

1. Was entrusted with property of by the property owner.

2. Unlawfully took the embezzled property for his/her own use and/or benefit.

3. Specifically intended to deprive the owner of his/her property either permanently or temporarily.

Examples of Embezzlement

A. A bank teller, store clerk, or retail cashier, who is entrusted with handling money by his/her employer, receives cash for a transaction yet that employee pockets the cash and does not record the transaction.

The prosecution must prove that:

(1) The employee was entrusted with property by his/her employer (i.e. money).

(2) The employee pocketed the money for his/her own use.

(3) The employee intended to deprive his/her employer of the cash received.

B. A casino dealer, who is entrusted with handling chips by his/her employer, pockets the chips and later cashes those chips for profit.

The prosecution must prove that

(1) The employee was entrusted with property by his/her employer (i.e. chips).

(2) The employee pocketed the chips for his/her own benefit.

(3) The employee intended to deprive his/her employer of the chips he/she took.

C. A business secretary or accountant, who is entrusted with receiving check for account payments by his/her employer, takes the checks and later cashes or deposits them into her own account.

The prosecution must prove that

(1) The employee was entrusted with property by his/her employer (i.e. checks).

(2) The employee took and cashed/deposited the check for his/her benefit.

(3) The employee intended to deprive his/her employer of the checks he/she cash or deposited.

D. A valet, who is entrusted with parking automobiles by the owner of the car, instead uses the car to tour around the city, run errands, or for his/her own use.

The prosecution must prove that

(1) The valet was entrusted with property by the owner of the car.

(2) The valet misused/took the car for his/her own use. (3) The bailee intended to deprive the owner of the car of his/her property.

E. A tenant, who is entrusted with following their housing contract by the land owner, decides to sell any appliance or property that is under contract for profit.

The prosecution must prove that

(1) The tenant was entrusted with property by his/her land owner (i.e. house).

(2) The tenant sold property that was under contract for profit/benefit.

(3) The tenant intended to deprive the land owner of his/her property.

Embezzlement takes on many forms and in some cases, the line between the taking/use of property and theft may not be entirely clear. Please don’t try to be your own defense attorney. Contact MyCriminalDefense today to set up a FREE confidential consultation to protect your freedom and reputation against unjust prosecution!!

Defenses to Embezzlement Charges

Being accused of embezzling property is a very serious matter. Facing these kinds of charges is not easy on an emotional or legal level. To fight embezzlement charges the following defenses can be used to aid your case:

Claim of Right /Good Faith Belief

You obtained the property under what you believed to be a claim of right or had good faith belief that you were entitled to the property, regardless of whether that belief was wrong or unreasonable.

a. The prosecution can prove that

(1)The employee was entrusted with property by his/her employer (i.e. money/checks)

(2)The employee pocketed the money/checks for his/her own use. However…..

(3)The prosecutor will have a difficult time to prove that the employee intended to deprive the employer of his/her property due to their good faith belief that they were entitled to that money.

False Accusation

There may be a possibility that you are being falsely accused of embezzling. Perhaps the police or prosecutors are relying on misleading evidence. In this case, your defense lawyer will employ the services of a professional investigator to interview witnesses and investigate the false evidence on which the prosecution is relying to try to prove your guilt and prepare a highly skilled defense strategy that will protect you against an unjust prosecution.

My Criminal Defense has successfully defended thousands of clients who have been falsely accused of theft crimes by conducting a thorough investigation of the facts of each of our clients’ cases. Our criminal defense attorneys have extensive experience handling such cases and, with our defense team of investigators and experts, our attorneys can help defend your legal rights and protect you against a wrongful and unjust prosecution.

With more than 27 years of experience serving as a legal defense team in Southern California we pride ourselves in our ability to create successful strategies that will protect your life and freedom. TAKE IMMEDIATE STEPS TODAY to protect your life and freedom. Call us to set up a FREE confidential consultation with My Criminal Defense.