Embezzlement is a “white collar” crime that is committed when money or property is stolen by someone who was entrusted to hold it – usually someone like an employee or a client.
Embezzlement is typically a premeditated and methodical crime.
Embezzlers usually work diligently to conceal embezzlement, often embezzling only a small percentage of the total of the funds or resources they are entrusted with, in order to minimize their risk of detection.
When they’re successful, embezzlers may operate for a number of years without being detected.
If you take money or property without the owner’s permission, and you mean to keep that money or property, it’s theft.
But when you already have temporary possession of someone’s money or property because you have been asked to watch or hold it, and you then decide to steal that money or property, it’s embezzlement.
What Must The State Prove To Win An Embezzlement Conviction?
In some embezzlement cases, a defendant may have been framed by a colleague.
In cases where money or property has simply gone missing, sometimes a person is accused merely because he or she is the most convenient suspect.
To convict a suspect of embezzlement, a prosecutor usually must prove that:
– A fiduciary relationship existed between the defendant and the victim.
– The defendant used that relationship to gain access to money or property.
– The defendant intentionally took the money or property without the owner’s permission.
How Can A Criminal Defense Lawyer Help?
With the countless complexities that may arise in an embezzlement case, a defendant in New York must be represented by an aggressive, experienced criminal defense attorney who will examine the details and circumstances of the case, protect the defendant’s rights, develop an effective defense strategy, and fight on a defendant’s behalf for the best possible result.
If an embezzlement prosecution goes to trial, a good criminal defense lawyer can often cast “reasonable doubt” on the prosecution’s evidence.
Even a simple clerical error can sometimes look like embezzlement. There are usually a number of ways for a skilled criminal defense attorney to challenge a prosecutor’s embezzlement case.
However, if the evidence of a defendant’s embezzlement is overwhelming and conclusive, that defendant’s attorney may try to have the embezzlement charge reduced, and he or she will also argue for reduced or alternative sentencing.
In any embezzlement case, a good defense lawyer will use every appropriate legal tool to bring the matter to its best possible conclusion.