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Virginia Embezzlement Attorney

White collar crimes are criminal offenses that are nonviolent and are motivated by financial gain.  In white-collar crimes, the offender may use schemes to defraud the victim of their money instead of physically taking the money or threatening to hurt a victim, as in a robbery.  However, victims of nonviolent white-collar crimes can get substantially hurt in other ways, such as huge financial losses and breach of trust.

Therefore, because these offenses are still treated very seriously by prosecutors and carry serious potential consequences under Virginia law, it may be in your best interest to contact a Virginia embezzlement lawyer.

Embezzlement is one type of white-collar crime.  Simply put, embezzlement is a type of theft.  Theft occurs when one person takes another person’s money or property without the owner’s consent.

Embezzlement is different because the person who took the money or property actually had consent to have temporary possession of the stolen goods.  Though the embezzler was entrusted to hold or manage the money or property, they decided to permanently deprive the rightful owner.  For example:

  • Theft occurs when a customer takes money from a store register.
  • Embezzlement occurs when a store employee who had permission to handle the money in the cash register takes some of that money.

In order for embezzlement to occur, there must be some type of relationship of trust between the parties that allows the embezzler access to the money or property in question.

Common Embezzlement Scenarios in Virginia

Embezzlement may occur in a broad range of scenarios.  The following are some common embezzlement situations:

  • Bank tellers pocketing deposits
  • Bookkeepers or accountants falsifying records in order to take some of the company’s assets
  • A caretaker in charge of paying bills taking some of their family member’s money or other belongings
  • Payroll clerks not depositing enough employment tax and keeping the difference
  • A broker depositing or investing a client’s money for himself

Embezzlement may be a simple, one-time occurrence, or it may involve years’ worth of elaborate scheming.  For example, a bank teller may be charged with embezzlement after keeping $5.00 of a customer’s deposit.  On the other hand, an investment executive may create a complex Ponzi scheme in which they pay returns to investors with money from other investors and keep the profits for themselves, over the course of many years.  Either way, those accused may want to contact an experienced embezzlement lawyer in Virginia due to the possible consequences that can significantly impact one’s life.

Potential Consequences For Embezzlement

According to Virginia law, embezzlement convictions carry different consequences based on the value of the money or property stolen.  In addition, embezzlement may be charged as a federal crime if the scheme defrauded the federal government, and may carry an entirely different set of potential consequences.  The following table is a guide to possible penalties for an embezzler in Virginia:

State charge of embezzling less than $200 value

  • Up to one year in jailUp to $2,500 in fines
  • Restitution
  • Probation

State charge of embezzling $200 or more

  • Minimum of one year in prison, up to 20 years, Up to $2,500 in fines
  • Restitution
  • Probation

Federal charge

  • Up to 30 years in federal prison, Up to $250,000 in fines (or the amount embezzled, if greater)

Contact a Virginia Embezzlement Lawyer Today

If you are facing charges for embezzlement or any other white-collar crime, contact the experienced Virginia embezzlement lawyers at our firm as soon as possible so they may begin building your defense. Depending on the specific circumstances of your particular case, an embezzlement conviction may cost you a large amount of money and your freedom.  A criminal defense attorney knows how to evaluate your case, build a defense, and negotiate with the prosecutor in an attempt to mitigate or completely avoid the above consequences.

However, embezzlement cases can be extremely complex and may require extensive investigation to assert a proper defense.  Therefore, it is important to consult with an attorney with experience in embezzlement and other white-collar crimes.