Recent reports say that white-collar crime is on the rise. While most cases of these felonies involve tax evasion, there are other examples of such illegal activities.

Take, for instance, the news of embezzlement charges filed against the ex-president and CEO of a credit union in Beaver.

If you’re the victim of such a crime or the defendant, there are legal implications you have to know about so you can take the necessary actions. It’s in your best interests to understand the fundamentals, but you should always seek a lawyer’s advice. To get an in-depth knowledge of the subject, you can also refer to the website.

What is Embezzlement?

Embezzlement happens when someone entrusts another person to take care of their personal property, and the latter steals it. In most cases, the crime involves the misappropriation of funds. It doesn’t matter whether the accused keeps the asset or transfers it to someone else.

What separates the felony from theft or fraud is that the defendant has permission to manage the asset in question but has no legal ownership of the property. In effect, the accused commits theft and breach of trust.

Forms of Embezzlement

Although embezzlement comes in many variations, the most common types include:

  • Credit card fraud:This felony happens when an employee copies a customer’s card information and uses it to make purchases online, then either returns the items for store credit or sells them for money.
  • Wire-transfer intercepts:In this case, an individual finds a way to intercept and channel funds paid by wire transfer to their private account. For instance, when an employee gives a customer their personal, instead of the company’s bank details.
  • Cash skimming:This act involves people collecting money from customers, such as bartenders, tellers, and cashiers. They pocket what they receive instead of placing it in the cash register.
  • Online fraud:This sophisticated crime occurs when individuals with programming knowledge use codes to automatically intercept electronic transactions and transfer funds to a personal account

How to Prove Embezzlement

It’s not straightforward to prove embezzlement. Four elements have to be present:

  • A trust relationship between the defendant and the victim must exist, where the latter relies on the former to take care of the stolen property.
  • There’s evidence that the accused acquired the asset in question by breaching the relationship.
  • Transfer of ownership happened. The fraudster either took possession of the asset or transferred it to another party.
  • There must be proof of intent, which is often tricky to do.

What Are the Punishments for Embezzlement?

If you commit the crime, you could face any of the following:

  • Felony of the first degree:For this charge, the stolen asset’s values must be $100,000 and above.
  • Felony of the second degree:The criteria includes embezzlement of more than $3,000 and involves several conspirators.
  • Felony of the third degree:In this instance, the fraud’s value exceeds $300 but is under $20,000.
  • Misdemeanor of the first degree:This is a less severe charge as the stolen property value ranges from $100 to $300.
  • Misdemeanor of the second degree:As the items cost lower than $100, this is a petty offense.

The defendant faces prison time and fines if convicted, depending on the amount they took.

Seek Legal Counsel

Whenever an act involves the law, it’s vital to consult an experienced lawyer in the related field. You’ll avoid unnecessary problems if you have legal advice.