When an individual engages in the act of embezzlement he fraudulently
appropriates, for his own use, property or money entrusted to his care.
Embezzlement is often carried out by someone who is in a position of
trust, such as an employee or agent.
Embezzlement differs from swindling in that swindling means wrongfully
acquiring property using a false pretense, such as a ruse or a lie, to
get the victim to transfer the title of property to the wrongdoer. If
you swindle someone, you cheat them out of something via false
statements, device or tricks to get property or money that you are not
entitled to. Swindling is a form of theft.
Embezzlement is an outgrowth of the crime of larceny. Larceny is
generally defined as a non-violent theft and the unauthorized removal
and taking of someone else's personal property, with the intention of
depriving the owner of this property. Larceny is a crime against the
right of possession.
Embezzlement differs from larceny because embezzlement originates from
the lawful taking of something but the subsequent wrongful
appropriation of it. Larceny requires felonious trespassory taking of
the property from the beginning.
Embezzlement is larceny modified and was created to cover certain acts
of fraud that did not come within the scope of larceny. Sometimes the
crimes can over lap, although they are considered mutually exclusive
The English legislature devised the crime of embezzlement, which
determines specific people who may be liable for the offense, such as
corporate officers, agents, bankers and attorneys. The offender is
usually someone who is in possession of, or entrusted with, another's
Embezzlement statutes vary from state to state. Under some statutes,
property is anything of value, including intangible personal property
and commercial paper, which includes bonds, stocks, written documents,
deeds or contracts, checks and promissory notes.
There are a multitude of embezzlement types but the majority of
embezzlement cases involve the misappropriation of assets, which
includes supplies and inventory. The accused is usually investigated
because cash has come up missing. A charge of embezzlement can be
levied against anyone who has access to this cash or to the account
from which money has come up missing.
Being charged with embezzlement is nearly as damaging as actually being
convicted of it. Even if you are acquitted of the charge, the charge
itself can leave a lasting impression and result in stigmatization of
the person and inability to find future work.
The most common types of embezzlement include theft involving a large
amount of money, with the amount being stolen in one fell swoop;
stealing small amounts of property or money over time; credit card
fraud and falsifying invoices or accounts (records) to conceal a theft.
Employee fraud or stealing is a serious offense because it is done by
employees, who exploit their knowledge of a company or organization for
If convicted of embezzlement, although the punishment may vary from
state to state, you may be sentenced to prison, fined, required to make
restitution to the victim and undergo counseling. If you are convicted
of a second offense, you are in really hot water this time. You can be
charged with felony theft also called petty theft with a prior, and can
receive a year or up to three years in prison.
It is considered a serious grand theft offense if you steal more than
$400 in goods or money. You may land in prison for well over a year, be
put on probation or parole, ordered to pay restitution and required to
undergo counseling as well as pay fines.