What is Embezzlement?

Recently, a Rockland County teacher was charged with embezzling money from a youth soccer club. A private school also made news by embezzling $3 million from the federal government, money that was intended to pay for the daily meals of students. 

Embezzlement is a form of fraud, which is in its turn a form of larceny. A crime is classified as embezzlement when a person who has been entrusted to hold and manage property on behalf of the rightful owner instead takes it for their own use. Often, the victim is an employer or a client.

It is covered by New York Penal Law Section 155

Penalties for Larceny by Embezzlement

The severity of the crime depends on the amount stolen. It can be classified as a Class E felony all the way up to a Class B felony. 

  • $1000 to $3000: Class E
  • $3,000 to $50,000: Class D
  • $50,000 to $1,000,000: Class C
  • $1,000,000+:  Class B 

A Class B felony is punishable by 8 to 24 years in prison. 

The crime is not classified by each individual instance of embezzlement, but by the total amount stolen and held over time. 

Other charges may also be added, such as forgery. 

Defending Charges of Larceny by Embezzlement 

There are several defenses we can use.

  • You had a right to the property and a right to use it, and/or the money was taken for legitimate purposes.
  • You did not commit the crime at all. 
  • You did not intend to commit embezzlement.
  • You were under duress at the time.
  • The government committed entrapment. 
  • Lack of evidence that the embezzlement took place.

Can you convince an employer to avoid filing charges?

Sometimes. A criminal defense lawyer may even be able to help with that if you agree to pay back what you took and are faithful to your payment plan. However, your employer may still go to the police at any time. It’s still worth a try, as coming to an agreement with your employer can be used as a positive factor in your case. 

For example, we may be able to use it to show that you made an honest mistake (lack of intent) and did everything you could to rectify the mistake, besides. 

Get Help Today

If you’ve been accused of embezzlement, you need an expert white collar criminal defense lawyer by your side. 

Our firm has helped hundreds of people like you resolve embezzlement cases. Call us today to schedule a case review.

See also:

Can You Hire a Federal Criminal Attorney Before Charges Are Filed? 

4 Mistakes to Avoid if You’re Under Investigation for White Collar Crime

Are You Guilty of Loan Fraud?