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Embezzlement Defense Lawyers

November 2, 2021

Embezzlement
You hear the term “embezzlement” all the time in the news or movies and TV shows, but what actually is it? Embezzlement is a form of theft, but it’s a little different. Embezzlement is when someone is accused to stealing property or money they were entrusted with. Just like theft, embezzlement is a serious crime with substantial penalties if convicted. In addition, the alleged crime may be charged as a federal crime if committed by a federal government employee or someone with access to government property or funds, or if it involves the embezzlement of healthcare premiums or an employee benefit plan. Classifying as a federal offense would make it an even more serious offense.

If you are being accused of embezzlement, you need a good criminal defense attorney who has experience with embezzlement cases. If it’s a federal offense, make sure you the attorney has experience specifically handling these cases in federal court.

When is Embezzlement Become a Federal Offense?
Every state has its own laws regarding embezzlement and the specific penalties associated with conviction, usually jail time and/or a fine. However, in some cases, there might be federal charges. There are 30 specific statutes in the United States Code that governs these federal embezzlement charges Title 18 Chapter 31. Some of these examples include embezzlement of or from:

* Public money or records
* An employee benefit plan
* Materials and/or tools for use in counterfeiting

Or by:
* Federal government officers, agents, or employees
* Bankers who accept unauthorized deposits
* Bank officers or employees
* A lending, credit or insurance institution

Or even just involving healthcare. Stealing artwork can also result in federal charges of embezzlement, if it involves theft by fraud from a museum of an artwork of “cultural heritage.”

Penalties for an Embezzlement Conviction
Depending on the circumstances, such as the type and value of property, the penalties for federal embezzlement charges vary widely. Other factors affecting the penalties include whether or not the accused has a criminal record, the amount of trust given to the defendant, and the duration of the theft. For example, anyone who embezzles money or property from the federal government valued at more than $1,000 can face a maximum of 10 years in jail and/or a fine up to $250,000. For embezzlement below $1,000, the penalty could be up to a $100,000 fine and/or a year in jail.

Some federal embezzlement charges are viewed as more severe and therefore have higher penalties. For example, embezzlement by a Federal Reserve Employee, or a financial institution governed by the Federal Reserve Act, increases the potential penalty to up to $30 years in prison and/or $1 million fine for values over $1,000.

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
2024-03-21
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
2024-03-18
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
2024-03-18
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
Keisha Parris
Keisha Parris
2024-03-15
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
2024-03-15
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
2024-03-12
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
2024-03-12
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
2024-02-28
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
2024-02-24
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.

Federal Embezzlement Defense
The government typically prosecutes federal embezzlement charges aggressively because of the serious nature and because the fraud can affect so many people.
However, as with all criminal cases, the burden of proof still lies with the prosecution. To convict you, they must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, including that you:

* Had a fiduciary responsibility or a relationship of trust with the victim;
* Were entrusted with property or money;
* Unlawfully obtained the money or property; and
* Meant to deprive the owner of their property.

Choosing the right attorney
Facing a financial crime can be overwhelming. Just the accusation alone could destroy your reputation, cost you your job, and damage your personal and professional relationships, even if you’re not convicted or even formally charged. Add the prospect of large fines and possible jail time, and it’s an even scarier situation. However, if you have an experienced attorney, you might get an acquittal, reduced charges, or lesser penalties in a plea deal. The prosecution will have an expert lawyer, so you need the same.

To fight these charges, you need an attorney experienced with embezzlement at a federal level. One of the most important factors the prosecution must prove is intent. If you can show you legitimately thought you were the rightful owner, or that you didn’t intend to deprive the owner, you might beat the charges. Other defenses might include if you committed the theft under duress, if you were a victim of entrapment, or you didn’t steal for your own gain.

The process for embezzlement cases is very different between state and federal courts, and it’s important to have an experienced federal defense attorney on your case. Even for a small amount of theft, the penalties can be severe and the government can aggressively pursue the charges. You could be facing loss of reputation, financial stability, and freedom. Before you’re even charged, if you’re being investigated by federal embezzlement charges, retain one of our experienced, reputable defense lawyers right away.

Sources:
Cornell Law

Office of the Law Revision Counsel

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