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Theft Crime: Common Misconceptions

March 21, 2024 Uncategorized

There are a number of common misconceptions that occur regarding theft crimes. Multiple theft crimes are outlined in statutes on both a state and federal level. These can include everything from petty theft to embezzlement. It’s important to understand misconceptions about these crimes and to talk to an experienced lawyer if you believe you may be suspected of a theft crime.

Embezzlement Misconceptions

One of the most prevalent misconceptions about embezzlement is that it is a white-collar crime that doesn’t have any victims. Many perpetrators say that they rationalized the crime to themselves by telling themselves that insurance would reimburse the damages. But embezzlement can cause serious problems and even ruin people’s lives. If you’ve been accused of embezzlement, you need to understand the ramifications of the crime and talk to your lawyer about how to create the best possible defense.

There are other common rationalizations that people use as well. In addition to telling themselves that insurance will take care of it, they might think that ongoing theft isn’t an issue if no one ever notices it, and that no one will ever be hurt. But this isn’t accurate.

People who have their money stolen through embezzlement crimes can sometimes have serious life impacts. This is especially true if the money isn’t recovered. There’s no guarantee that insurance will reimburse the stolen money, so if they don’t get it back, they’ll have lost a lot. The person who committed the crime will do time behind bars and pay a fine, but the person who was stolen from might lose their life savings, their livelihood, their home, or their ability to provide for their family. They might not be able to buy groceries, pay their rent, or meet their day-to-day financial needs.

There’s a big misconception in embezzlement crimes that taking small amounts of money won’t have any impact on a physician, hedge fund, trust, bank, or other wealthy entity. Even though the business or entity might continue to operate seemingly unharmed, any negative loss has a serious effect on the company or entity’s ability to function.

The damage inflicted and the loss to the entity has a big impact on sentencing. For this reason, if you’re facing any kind of embezzlement allegation, it’s vital that you talk to an attorney to figure out the scope of the problem.

Embezzlement isn’t a crime that just makes numbers have issues on paper. There’s also an impact on real humans. The worse the impact to individual people, the worse the sentencing tends to be for the perpetrator. If you’ve been accused of embezzlement, your accuser might say that their business is bankrupt due to your impact. The accuser might also go into detail about the specific impact that the crime had on themselves, their employees, and their family.

These cases can become very emotional, and emotion has a big sway in the courtroom. A DA who hears from individuals affected by the crime tends to be harsher. If people impress upon the DA that they feel violated, have ongoing negative life impacts, and had their trust maliciously broken, the DA will be much less likely to view the accused with sympathy.

The on-paper numbers don’t matter as much as the human impact. The damage to the other person will have a much bigger impact in court and sentencing than the exact dollar figure stolen. If you defraud a family of their children’s college fund and retirement funds, for example, the lasting impact of this is more gutwrenching than stealing a million dollars from an extremely successful billion-dollar corporation.

If you’ve been accused of embezzlement, it’s not just about the numbers. You need to be aware that you will be facing the human element of the crime. You and your lawyer can talk about whether the best option is to explain away, minimize, or confront the human element as part of your defense.

Credit Card Fraud Misconceptions

There are a ton of credit card scams that people run to try to get sensitive financial information. Many misconceptions abound regarding the specifics of this crime. Like with embezzlement, one of the most common misconceptions is that the crime is victimless. You might believe that the credit card company will reimburse the individual, or that taking just a few dollars won’t impact anyone, or that finding a credit card isn’t the same as stealing.

People often rationalize their behavior while they’re doing it. When they get caught, they may be surprised to face the consequences of their actions. Credit card fraud can have a serious impact on the victims, especially if they didn’t have a lot of money to begin with. It can cause their bank account to become overdrafted, them to go into debt, and for their credit score to be negatively impacted.

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