New York residents might wonder what is meant by the term “embezzlement”. It is a form of theft that happens when an individual steals from funds that are available to them without belonging to them. For example, a store clerk or bank teller might take money on the job. Embezzlement also include theft of property, so if an employee keeps a work laptop or vehicle, that might be considered embezzlement.
A charge of embezzlement also requires four factors to be in place. The act has to be intentional. There has to be a relationship between the two parties in which one relies upon the other. That relationship must have been what led to the individual acquiring the money or property. The individual must have given the money or property to someone else or kept it.
Some people embezzle all at once while others do it over time. There are a number of schemes and methods for embezzling money such as fraudulent payroll or billing.
An individual who is accused of embezzlement may wish to consult a criminal defense attorney. Even a person who is simply questioned in such a case may want to seek legal advice during the investigation. People should not assume that because embezzlement is a white collar crime that there cannot be severe penalties. An attorney may be able to work out a strategy for defense. For example, people may be implicated when their boss or an employee with whom they worked closely is also charged with embezzlement. However, they may have had no knowledge of the embezzlement or not realized that what the co-worker was doing was misappropriating funds. Defense counsel might also attempt to enter an arrangement with the prosecutor that would involve a plea of guilty by the defendant to a lesser offense in exchange for a reduced penalty.