Embezzlement is a type of financial fraud in which money or property belonging to someone else is stolen or used fraudulently for one’s own benefit. It is considered a non-violent crime and is often referred to as a “white collar crime.” While typically investigated by local law enforcement agencies, if the embezzlement is large-scale, or involves financial institutions, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) may become involved.
A very common example of embezzlement is employee theft in which an employee steals money or property from their employer for their own personal use. Embezzlement can also involve corporate fraud or even a family member who uses a relative’s money for their personal gain.
An embezzlement crime can be charged even when the property or money involved was entrusted to your care at the time it was misappropriated. Prosecutors must prove you had the intent to deprive the rightful owner of property after it was entrusted to you and that you fraudulently converted the property for your own benefit.
Depending on the amount of loss involved and the circumstances, embezzlement can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. The charges and potential penalties are determined by the dollar value of the loss and are governed under California’s theft laws.
How the Law Offices David A. Stein Can Help You with An Embezzlement Charge
The Law Offices of David A. Stein, located in Irvine, are available to our clients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Before talking to law enforcement, call for a free consultation about your case at (949) 445-0040. You can also reach us online by email here.
David Stein has successfully defended his clients charged with white-collar crimes and business crimes. His practice includes work in both State and Federal court on cases ranging from embezzlement, real estate fraud, grand theft, to computer and Internet crimes. His legal expertise, and his relationships with judges and procecutors, has resulted in dismissals or reduction of charges. He brings to each client the experience of representing hundres of individuals who were under investigation or charged with criminal offenses in both State and Federal court.
An experienced embezzlement attorney can mount a defense that may potentially result in charges not being filed, dismissed or reduced charges, or even an acquittal after a jury trial. Our attorneys will evaluate the strength of the case against you and will help you understand all of your possible options.
Our attorneys work aggressively to protect your rights and help you navigate through the Orange County criminal justice system.
Embezzlement Penalties and Sentencing: California Penal Code § 503
According to California Penal Code § 503, embezzlement is “the fraudulent appropriation of property by a person to whom it has been [entrusted].” If convicted, an embezzler is punished according the penalties assigned for the theft crime of the monetary value of that which was embezzled.
Petty Theft Penalties
If the value of the money or property embezzled is below $950.00, the offense is considered petty theft and is punishable by probation, a maximum fine of $1,000 and/or imprisonment in a county jail for one year. Petty theft embezzlement is a misdemeanor.
Grand Theft Penalties
If the value of the embezzled property or money is in excess of $950, the offense is considered felony grand theft. Grand theft embezzlement can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. It may be punishable by a county jail sentence of 16 months, two years, or three years. Additional penalties, including an increased jail sentence, may be sought if the amount of loss was substantial.
At The Law Offices of David A. Stein, our aggressive embezzlement defense attorneys in Irvine are committed to obtaining the best possible results for our clients. If you are currently under investigation, or have been charged with embezzlement in California, we can protect your rights. To speak with Mr. Stein about your case, call today for a consultation at (949) 445-0040.