Embezzlement covers hundreds of situations in which employees and other individuals in positions of trust misappropriate funds for their personal gain. Often deemed a whitecollar crime, as it typically involves purely financial transactions rather than force or violence, embezzlement may have serious consequences.
With potential penalties equivalent to those for larceny, individuals facing embezzlement charges may wish to consult a Fredericksburg embezzlement lawyer for advice.
Both state and federal laws establish embezzlement as a criminal offense. You could face charges under state law, federal law, or both, depending on the allegations involved. A skilled criminal attorney may be able to help you build a strong defense to any charges that you are facing.
Embezzlement is a form of larceny under Virgini Code § 18.2-111 that occurs when individuals inappropriately and fraudulently use, destroy, hide, or misappropriate money or property that an employer or principal has entrusted to them.
Embezzlement differs from larceny in that individuals have possession of the property lawfully through their employment, office, or other position of trust. In some cases, embezzlement may result in federal charges in addition to or in lieu of state charges. A hard-working attorney could fight tirelessly on behalf of a defendant facing state or federal charges.
Both larceny and embezzlement involve an intent to deprive the property owners of the use or possession of the property. Whether individuals commit larceny or embezzlement, the goal of both is to use the money or property to benefit themselves. Individuals facing embezzlement allegations may wish to consult a Fredericksburg embezzlement lawyer immediately to learn their options.
Embezzlement schemes could involve multiple persons and thousands of dollars, or they may involve simple, one-person scams in which employees or fiduciaries embezzle small amounts of money over time. In both situations, the individuals commit fraudulent or deceitful acts. This could include forging records to cover up the money or property that they have misappropriated.
An employee might remove money from a cash register from time to time and forge records to cover up the deficient balance. A utility company employee who processes customer payments might keep the payments and record them as paid. Schemes of this nature may go on for months or even years, notably in circumstances in which an employee has no oversight or supervision in handling funds.
On a larger scale, embezzlement might occur if a financial advisor receives funds from a client to invest and deposits it into a personal account. As a conviction for embezzlement might have severe penalties, consulting an embezzlement attorney in Fredericksburg for advice is recommended.
The potential penalties for embezzlement are the same as those for larceny. The level of the charge and the potential penalties depend upon the value of the property or funds that allegedly were embezzled. Prior convictions and other aggravating factors may also impact the penalties for embezzlement.
Under Va. Code § 18.2-96, embezzlement of property worth less than $500 is petit larceny, a Class 1 misdemeanor. A conviction for petit larceny might result in up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine.
Grand larceny is a felony charge for those who embezzlement property valued at over $500, pursuant to Va. Code § 18.2-95. While grand larceny may result in a prison sentence of up to 20 years, the judge or jury does have the option of ordering a much more lenient sentence, which could include a jail sentence of up to 12 months and a $2,500 fine.
Working with a Fredericksburg embezzlement lawyer may be beneficial to you on many levels. Taking immediate action to address embezzlement charges and identify any defenses that may be relevant to your situation might be crucial to reaching a positive resolution to your charges.
Being accused of embezzlement has the potential to destroy your future professional opportunities and personal reputation in your community. By engaging the services of a criminal defense attorney in Fredericksburg, you may be able to more effectively defend yourself and fight back against whatever type of criminal charges you may be facing.
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