While embezzlement is typically portrayed in the media and the big screen as a “sexy” crime, our phoenix, AZ embezzlement defense lawyers know that it is far from that and can result in years behind bars in federal prison. Embezzlement is a serious offense which should be treated as such, and is typically overlooked as a crime only the very wealthy commit and are not often punished for. However, federal prosecutors have begun to strike down hard on embezzlement offenses in an effort to regain control of the financial sector and have doled out very serious punishments lately.
What is Embezzlement
The legal definition of embezzlement involves a lawful taking that becomes an unlawful appropriation. For example, if you have control of your neighbor’s dog to take it to the vet but end up keeping the dog, this is embezzlement. Embezzlement, a white collar crime, becomes a serious crime when heads of large corporations who are in charge of large sums of money begin to set aside some of these funds for their own investments.
Embezzlement frequently occurs accidentally, as when an employee accidentally “takes” property which they have been entrusted to watch over without taking possession. Employees often have the right to use funds or property in large corporations, and therefore it can be difficult for the government to prove that the employee took the property or “converted” it without permission.
Difference Between Embezzlement & Larceny
Larceny is the more common form of theft or robbery in that it typically involves a trespassory taking – essentially, taking property which you do not have a right to. Embezzlement involves taking property that you have the right to take, but only later becomes trespassory.