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Federal Embezzlement Defense Attorney

Embezzlement: Understanding the Crime and Its Consequences

Embezzlement is a serious white-collar crime that can have financially damaging effects on the victim. As a result, the punishments associated with an embezzlement conviction are severe. Because of the nature of an embezzlement charge, many people are not aware of the investigation before they are arrested. Whether you are aware of the investigation or you have been surprised by an unexpected arrest, your next step should be to hire a federal criminal defense lawyer who has specific experience in this unique area of the law.

Understanding Criminal Embezzlement

Embezzlement and theft or larceny are similar in some regards. For example, they both involve taking property away from its rightful owner. While theft involves the act of trespassing in some way to complete the act, embezzlement does not. With this crime, there is a solid relationship between the two parties, and the victim willfully gives control of the property to the defendant. This constitutes lawful possession. From there, however, the accused party seizes the property in some way for his or her benefit or use without the intention of returning it to its rightful owner.

Some examples of this type of crime may include elaborate pyramid or Ponzi schemes. Another example is an employee stealing property or funds from a workplace. Embezzlement occurs when the items in question have been consumed, sold, given away, seriously damaged or withheld from the rightful owner in another way.

Punishments for an Embezzlement Conviction

The burden of proof lies on the prosecutor in any criminal case. If the prosecutor is successful at proving that you committed embezzlement, you could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison. In addition, you may be required to pay a fine in the amount that you embezzled. If the amount is less than $1,000, your maximum jail sentence may be one year. On the other hand, some instances may carry a stiffer penalty. For example, you may face a $1 million penalty and up to 30 years in prison if you are found guilty of embezzling from a bank.

George FernandezGeorge Fernandez
14:16 30 Apr 24
Excellent 10 out of 10, Helped resolve my case. Jeremy explained everything and made everything easy to understand.
21:33 24 Apr 24
If you are looking for a lawyer that listens, is aggressive where needed, and holds his word above all else, Todd is the best pick. I had hired multiple attorneys prior to hiring the Spodek Group for a white collar case. The first thing that stood out to me was the cost, as anyone going through the process and dealing with the system, money was tight at that time - especially after hiring and firing multiple lawyers. The cost was not as high as others which was definitely a plus. Todd's intake process was also unlike other attorneys. He took the time to actually listen. He cared. He was trying to put himself in my shoes while I was explaining the situation to him and he really took the time to understand the whole situation. Other lawyers will give you 15 mins and send you a retainer agreement. Not Todd, I think he spent almost two hours with me as I was explaining everything.Not only was he great during the onboarding process, he was supportive and very informative through the entire plea process and eventually sentencing. After hiring him, I asked if I should hire a prison consultant, he told me to save my money as he would do everything they would. He was right and held up to his word. Later on I would hear from others that went with the prison consultants that they were a waste of money - I am glad I listened to Todd!When it came time for sentencing, two days prior to sentencing, the prosecutor tried increasing my proposed prison time by almost double - apparently a normal move. Todd and his team worked with me non-stop through the weekend prior to sentencing to ensure that I was not given additional prison time. Again, he took the time to listen and came up with a strategy to explain the case with great detail.Unfortunately, I did plead guilty as that was my best option. Todd and his whole team wrote up nearly 300 pages of a summary of what happened and why I should not be given prison time. If I breakdown the amount I spent with Todd versus the amount of work that I saw being done, I am shocked I was not charged four times as much. The other benefit was, a lot of criminal defense lawyers were just a single attorney with a paralegal or two. Todd had a team of people that I dealt with (5-7 people that I interacted with), but he was ALWAYS accessible. It would never take him more than an hour to reply unless he was in court.I was sentenced to prison and I was emotionally distraught. Todd and his team did whatever they could even after sentencing to make sure I was alright. He personally stayed in touch with my family to ensure I was doing alright and offered support to them. Most lawyers would consider the job complete at sentencing, not Todd.After prison, Todd still spent time with me to make sure I was on the right track and avoiding any potential risks in the future. He has also been giving advice on how to navigate probation etc and has not been looking at the clock for billing.Although I wish I had never been arrested in the first place, I am glad I had Todd and his team in my corner. Without them I likely would have had to spend a lot more time in prison than I did.Thank you, Todd, and the entire Spodek Law team, for helping turn what was a nightmare into a manageable situation!
Yelva Saint-PreuxYelva Saint-Preux
19:26 19 Apr 24
I am immensely grateful to the entire team at Spodek Law Group for their unwavering dedication and exceptional expertise throughout my case. From our initial consultation to the final resolution, their professionalism and tireless advocacy made all the difference. Their strategic approach and attention to detail instilled confidence in me every step of the way.Thanks to their hard work and commitment, we achieved a truly favorable outcome that exceeded my expectations. Not only did they navigate the complexities of my case with precision, but they also provided invaluable support and guidance during what was undoubtedly a challenging time. I cannot recommend Spodek Law Group highly enough, especially attorneys Todd Spodek and Claire Banks; they are beacons of excellence in the legal profession.YSP.
Katherine SunKatherine Sun
18:08 18 Apr 24
my lawyer is Alex Zhik. Efficient, patient and professional
Nun yaNun ya
17:48 18 Apr 24
Todd, Ralph and Alex are amazing. Helped my husband get from a double digit number with multiple charges to a single digit, by the time I blink he will be out. They very professional and help with all your needs. They dealt with my anxiety and worry very well and they understand that your family member needs to get home as soon as possible.
Keisha ParrisKeisha Parris
20:45 15 Mar 24
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko BeautyTaïko Beauty
16:26 15 Mar 24
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence.Thank you team!
K MarK Mar
01:37 25 Jan 24
I recently had Spodek Law Group represent me for a legal matter in NYC and I am thoroughly impressed with their services.Alex Zhik secured the best possible outcome for my case.It was a seamless journey from the initial consultation to the resolution of my legal matter. From the moment I spoke to Todd about my case, his enthusiasm to help was evident, setting a positive tone for the entire experience. The efficiency and professionalism displayed by the team is commendable.A particularly noteworthy aspect of their service is their user-friendly portal to upload your documents/evidence. This not only simplified the process, but showcases their commitment to streamline the client experience.Lastly, in an industry where legal fees can often be a concern, I found their pricing to be very reasonable, making needing legal assistance feel accessible and stress-free.I am grateful for their support and wouldn't hesitate to turn to them again in the future.

Keep in mind that the ramifications of an embezzlement case can impact your life in other ways. For example, a conviction may tarnish your reputation. This may make it more difficult for you to lead a normal life after your punishment has been served. A felony conviction impacts everything from your ability to get a job to your voting rights and more. Regardless of how much evidence the prosecutor has accumulated against you, an effective defense strategy may help you to avoid dealing with these ramifications.

Embezzlement Defense Strategies

The prosecutor has several burdens of proof that must be met in order to win an embezzlement case. Before you can be found guilty of this crime, the prosecutor must show that you were entrusted with the money or property in question and that you had some type of fiduciary relationship with the victim. In addition, you must have taken that property as your own unlawfully.

Defense strategies often involve poking holes in one or more areas of the prosecutor’s efforts in these areas. For example, your criminal embezzlement attorney could argue that you did not take the property for personal gain or that it was not taken unlawfully. Your attorney may turn the tables and show that you are actually a victim of entrapment rather than the perpetrator in the crime. Another defense strategy is to claim some type of mental incapacitation. In some cases, a cut-and-dry defense related to the statute of limitations is an effective defense. There is a five-year statute of limitations for embezzlement. After this period of time has passed, you cannot be prosecuted for the crime.

Schedule a Legal Consultation Today

Are you facing embezzlement charges today, or are you the subject of an embezzlement investigation? The potential outcomes of a conviction are severe on many levels, so you understandably need to confront the matter directly with the legal support of a seasoned criminal defense lawyer. This white-collar crime has unique nuances. Because of this, the right lawyer for the case is one who has specific experience working on other related cases. Connect with the law firm today to schedule a legal consultation and to explore your options in detail.

Federal Embezzlement: Understanding the Crime and its Implications

Larceny is the act of taking property belonging to someone else with their consent and having the intent to permanently deprive the true owner of it. There are many forms of larceny such as embezzlement. The general definition of embezzlement is the act of taking property entrusted to you for safekeeping. The taking is done without permission and with the intent to deprive the true owner forever. On the state level, most true owners are companies or individuals who entrusted their belongings to a specific person such as an employee or friend. Federal embezzlement, however, has its distinctions.

What is Federal Embezzlement?

Federal embezzlement is outlined in Title 18 USC Chapter 31. The crime was also defined in an 1895 case. The definition set then is the definition currently used. Embezzlement is the fraudulent appropriation of government property committed by a person entrusted with the property.

Federal Embezzlement Charges

The term “embezzlement” means that you are accused of taking property, money, or something of value from a government agency. The type of embezzlement charge you face depends on the property and the property’s value.

The type of property that can be embezzled:

  • Tools or materials used for counterfeiting
  • Public records
  • Public property
  • Public money
  • Accounting of public money

The term “accounting of public money” sounds complex, but it isn’t. The term simply means that a person is accused of manipulating accounting records to hide the alleged theft of money or property. For example, the person may list a deposit for $40 instead of $400 to hide the fact that they took the $360 from a government account.

How Prosecutors Obtain an Embezzlement Conviction

A federal prosecutor must use four elements outlined in the federal statute to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that you are guilty of embezzlement. The prosecutor must use evidence to support these elements:

  1. You had a fiduciary or trusted relation between you and a federal government agency or state or local government agency.
  2. You obtained possession of the property via your employment.
  3. Your dealings with the government property constituted a fraudulent appropriation or conversion. This means that you allegedly took the property to use as your own.
  4. You had the intent to permanently deprive the government of its property.

Penalties for Federal Embezzlement Conviction

Here are the penalties for embezzling public property:

  • Embezzlement of public records, money, and property valued less than $1,000 is one year in jail, $100,000 fine, or both.
  • Embezzlement of public records, money, and property valued higher than $1,000 is 10 years in prison, $250,000, or both.
  • Embezzlement of materials or tools used for counterfeiting is 10 years in federal prison, $100,000, or both. These materials include tools to create federal bonds or currency notes.
  • Embezzlement of accounting generally done for public money valued less than $1,000 is one year in jail, $250,000, or both.
  • Embezzlement of accounting generally done for public money valued higher than $1,000 is 10 years in prison, $250,000 fine, or both.

Federal Sentencing Guidelines and Conviction

The exact criminal sentence will depend on several factors such as the value of property embezzled, criminal history, and sentencing guidelines. For example, an embezzlement sentence ranges from jail time to approximately 30 years in federal prison.

In the federal government criminal justice system, points are used to determine the sentence for a federal conviction. The point system ranges from six to 36. The Base Offense Level, the lowest point level, is six. The federal government sets the Base Offense Level for embezzlement convictions for property valued at less than $1,000. The highest points are reserved for those who embezzled more than $400 million.

For example, someone convicted of embezzling property valued at $10,000 may receive 10 years in federal prison. However, if they are convicted of embezzling less than $5,000, but more than $1,000, then they may receive less time in federal prison.

Contact Federal Embezzlement Criminal Defense Lawyers Immediately

You’ve been accused of federal embezzlement. The crime is often more serious than being accused of embezzlement from a non-government entity because of hefty fines and serious prison time. If you or a loved one is suspected or charged with federal embezzlement, it’s time to fight the charge. Forget about worrying what will happen. You need to use the time to fight the charge.

The first step in fighting a federal embezzlement charge is learning as much information about the criminal charge as you can. The next step is hiring a federal embezzlement lawyer. Contact us to represent you in your federal embezzlement charge.

Schedule Your Consultation Now