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.

Phoenix, AZ Embezzlement Defense Lawyer

Embezzlement defense involves proving not only that you had the right to the property, but that you never converted the property, meaning that you always had the legal right to the property.  It will be difficult to prove embezzlement in a large corporation where many employees have the legal right to funds or property.  The alleged victim will have to prove that you actually trespassed and converted the property, resulting in a loss to the owner.  Embezzlement can be brought under state or federal funds, depending on the nature of the offense.  The average citizen typically hears about large embezzlement cases that involve large corporations spanning multiple states which usually puts the case in federal court.

Embezzlement cases usually turn on what the alleged defendant was aware of, and many times they are not aware that they have converted any property.  Embezzlement can frequently be accidental, and it is important to consider your options before you serve jail time or pay a heightened fine.

Dwane Cates

Dwane Cates is a well-respected embezzlement defense attorney in Phoenix, Arizona and most of the country, frequently appearing on popular nationwide news programs for his own commentary on important legal issues.  His insight into the federal and local criminal court systems is unparalleled and crucial for his clients.

Contact Dwane Cates For Your Initial Free Consultation


Customer Service Policy
We practice law the old fashioned way; by putting the client first. Our attorneys and support staff understand the importance of staying in frequent communication with our clients, and we are always willing to provide up-to-the-minute information on the status of our clients’ legal matters. We pride ourselves on offering personal service. We are small enough that you are a person to us, not just a case or file number.
Call Now ButtonSpeak With An Attorney NOW
Get Help Today
close slider