How It Differs
Embezzlement essentially happens when someone takes or engages in what is known as misappropriation of money from someone else. It can include instances where people take property or other goods from than money. This taking can be someone who employs them. It can also happen when they take funds or other items from a business partner. Embezzlement may happen when they steal from a child they a supposed for be supervising. For example, if that child has been in an accident and been compensated with finances, the guardian can be charged with embezzlement if they took those funds for their own purposes rather than using them for the benefit of the child’s welfare.
This crime is sometimes seen as having something in common with what is known as under the law as fraud or the process of theft such as outright stealing. The person who engages in fraud or theft does not have permission from the owner of the goods to take them or use them in any capacity. On the other hand, the person who is engaging in embezzlement actually has permission to oversee the property or the funds for another person on their behalf. The embezzler is using that position to gain access to items and then use that not to help the person but to help themselves instead. That is considered an abuse of trust. They have been asked to assume a leadership role on behalf of other person. They are not acting in that person’s best interests in managing things for them. Instead, the embezzler is choosing to act in their own self interest.
Types of Embezzlement
There are many types of actions that can fall under this category. For example, a cashier might take money from the till to compensate a customer and then take some additional funds to compensate themselves at the same time. Someone who handles accounts for a company might deposit these funds in their own bank account rather than placing them in the company’s bank account. They might also change the books to fail to reflect that monies were transferred in the first place. The embezzler might also engage in other kinds of actions that amount to stealing from their employer.
For example, if someone takes office supplies home this can be considered a form of embezzlement. Most employers are unlikely to do much to respond to an employee who takes some paper home or a few pens. However, if that employee takes a printer home or other items worth a lot such as the company’s electronics for their own use, this falls in the category of embezzlement. Sometimes an employee or the owner of a company may take this issue a step further and create serious issues for the company via their overall actions.
In some cases, a company owner may go so far as to put fictitious employees on the payroll in order to pocket their salaries. A company owner may also engage in actions such as accepting bribes or offering them to someone in power in order to get access to a contract that benefits them personally. This action can also take place when someone does things such as using a child or elderly social security benefits for their own use. For example, they might take those funds and apply them to their own rent rather than setting them aside to pay a child’s medical bills or the senior’s mortgage.
Criminal and Civil Penalties
By law, the act of embezzlement is considered both criminal behavior and an action that can result in someone being sued. An embezzler may be subject to jail time as well as loss of a professional license if found guilty. They can also be sued by the people they have stolen from with the intention of gaining back any funds that were lost as a result of the embezzler’s actions. This is why is important to retain skilled counsel if you are being accused of this serious crime.