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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

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Embezzlement Charges: How a White Collar Defense Lawyer Can Fight For You

By Spodek Law Group | October 20, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 20, 2023)

Last Updated on: 20th October 2023, 04:54 pm


Embezzlement Charges: How a White Collar Defense Lawyer Can Fight For You

Being accused of embezzlement can be an incredibly stressful and frightening experience. As a white collar crime, embezzlement allegations can completely upend your life and leave you wondering how to defend yourself. The good news is that an experienced white collar defense lawyer can help you navigate this difficult situation and build the strongest possible case for your innocence.

In this article, we’ll break down exactly what embezzlement is, typical penalties you may face, and most importantly—the powerful defenses a knowledgeable lawyer can use to fight the charges. With the right legal advice and representation, you can move past this bump in the road.

What is Embezzlement?

Embezzlement is a kind of financial fraud that involves someone misappropriating money, funds, or other assets they’ve been entrusted with through their job or role. It’s a type of white collar crime that frequently occurs in workplaces where employees have access to company funds or financial accounts.

Some examples of embezzlement include:

  • An accountant pocketing money from a company’s bank account
  • An employee creating fake vendors and issuing checks to themselves
  • A financial advisor making unauthorized withdrawals from a client’s investment account

Unlike theft, embezzlement involves abusing a position of trust to secretly take money or property. It can take many forms, but always involves deceit, breach of duty, and personal gain from funds or assets the person wasn’t entitled to.

What Are the Penalties for Embezzlement?

The penalties for being convicted of embezzlement can be severe. Like all crimes, the exact punishment depends on the circumstances, dollar amount involved, your criminal history, and jurisdiction.

That said, potential penalties often include:

  • Felony conviction
  • Multi-year prison sentence
  • Massive fines and restitution
  • Probation
  • Community service

In additional to criminal penalties, being convicted of embezzlement essentially guarantees you’ll lose your current job and damages future career prospects. You may also face lawsuits and IRS scrutiny even after serving any sentence.

How Can a White Collar Defense Lawyer Help?

Facing embezzlement accusations is scary. The potential penalties are enough to make anyone feel hopeless. But it’s important to remember you have rights and a skilled lawyer can defend you using a variety of strategies.

An experienced white collar defense attorney will thoroughly investigate the allegations and evidence against you. They may find proof of your innocence, shoddy police work, or other issues that undermine the prosecution’s case.

Some of the powerful defenses a top lawyer may use include:

  • You lacked criminal intent – Embezzlement requires prosecutors to prove you knowingly and intentionally meant to defraud your employer or client. But sometimes mishandled funds are due to innocent mistakes and negligence rather than criminal intent. Other times, employees are unaware taking funds violates company policy or their fiduciary duties.
  • Someone else embezzled without your knowledge – In workplaces with poor oversight, it’s possible for other employees to embezzle and frame you without your involvement. A lawyer can scrutinize if others had motive and opportunity.
  • You had permission to use the funds – Employees sometimes use company accounts or assets for personal purposes with permission from supervisors. Or business funds are used for expenses later deemed inappropriate. A lack of clear policies or explicit permission can defeat embezzlement allegations.
  • The amounts are civil matters, not criminal – In disputes over compensation, expense reimbursements, or accounting problems, your lawyer may argue the issues are civil matters rather than crimes. This can get charges dismissed or reduced.
  • You were coerced or threatened – If others pressured you to misuse funds under duress, this may constitute a valid defense. The court may show leniency if you feared violence or losing your job.
  • Mental conditions impacted your judgment – Mental illnesses like depression or medical conditions causing impairment can influence behavior and decision-making. Your lawyer may argue you weren’t fully in control or able to form criminal intent.

An experienced attorney knows how to analyze the prosecution’s case for weaknesses and build arguments around these defenses. They can also negotiate with the district attorney for reduced charges or diversion programs to avoid a conviction altogether.

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