If you have been accused of embezzlement or another form of employee theft, you could be facing hefty fines and/or imprisonment if convicted. The attorneys at the Federal Criminal Law Group are well versed in the laws governing employee theft, and particularly skilled in mounting an effective defense in cases such as yours.
Understanding Embezzlement and Employee Theft
Is there a particular difference between the terms “embezzlement” and “employee theft?” Yes, there is, but the two are definitely related. Employee theft is a broad term that refers to any form of theft of money, property or trade secrets committed by an employee against his/her company. This may include any of the following:
- Direct theft—i.e., theft of merchandise/inventory, assets or cash
- Using one’s position to enable others to steal from the company (a form of conspiracy)
- Theft of information to sell to others (for example, stealing a company’s trade secrets, or hacking into customer records to steal credit card information)
In the most technical sense, employee theft happens anytime an employee takes or uses something belonging to the company for something other than official business, all the way down to taking home a company pen, using company phone lines or email for personal correspondence, etc. (Of course, many of these offenses are considered minor and are rarely prosecuted, but they still classify as forms of employee theft.)
Embezzlement, on the other hand, is a particular type of employee theft involving a person or persons entrusted with the company’s finances in some way. It almost always involves some sort of misappropriation of funds to divert for personal use, and usually includes doctoring the books to hide the money or goods to prevent discovery. Because financial-related employees have access that others don’t have, it is easier for them to steal larger amounts of money. Embezzlement costs companies billions of dollars a year, and is therefore the most common type of employee theft to be prosecuted.
Defending Against Charges Of Embezzlement And Employee Theft
If you are convicted of employee theft or embezzlement crimes, the penalties will vary based on the assessed value of what is stolen. Theft in the amount of $1000 or less usually classifies as “petty theft,” a misdemeanor punishable by modest fines and jail time of a year or less. For larger amounts, the charge is usually “grand theft,” a felony offense carrying heavier fines and more prison time. And of course, you’ll be expected to repay what you stole.
Our criminal defense attorneys are skilled in understanding the laws and possible penalties against you, and will thoroughly investigate all elements of your case to prove your innocence and/or minimize the penalties of conviction. Our attorneys have an excellent track record in pre-trial negotiations that result in out-of-court settlements and/or mitigated charges. If your case does go to trial, we will be there to represent your interests with an aggressive defense strategy, and we are able to work in your behalf even after the trial if necessary, filing appropriate appeals and working for reduced sentences.
In the complex world of business transactions, money changes hands more quickly than ever before. And more than ever before, people are accused of embezzlement and fraudulent misappropriation of funds.
Defending Against Allegations of White Collar Crime
Facing federal embezzlement or fraud charges can be a life-changing experience. People worry about the effect on their lives, their families and their careers. Working with an experienced embezzlement defense attorney can help ease some of this worry by producing positive legal results.
Embezzlement and other white collar criminal charges often put your reputation on the line, so it is best to address these offenses early by creating a comprehensive strategy for success. Contact The Law Office Of Shein & Brandenburg by calling 404.633.3797 to schedule a confidential consultation about your needs.