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Theft Crime: Embezzlement

March 21, 2024 Uncategorized

Embezzlement is one of the most common types of white collar crime committed on both a state and federal level. Both state and federal courts can prosecute embezzlement charges, and the type of court involved will vary depending on the circumstances. To be charged with embezzlement, you must have allegedly taken property or money from a financial entity you were responsible for. You must also have done this without permission.

There are criminal defense attorneys who specialize in defending people accused of white collar crime. They often see people accused of embezzlement when they are trusted with handling finances for a business, organization, or industry. The crime occurs when an individual is able to access the finances of another person, organization, or business. They are supposed to manage, monitor, or use the money responsibly to benefit the party who owns it. However, the control over the finances can cross into criminal territory.

You might be surprised by the number of different ways there are to embezzle money. Some of the most common are filing false records, fraudulently billing people, and engaging in “Ponzi” schemes. But even with all of these potential temptations, many innocent people are accused of embezzlement despite having done nothing wrong. Sometimes the person isn’t accused of embezzling money. They might be accused of stealing virtual documents, files, or trade secrets.

When it comes to the theft of trade secrets and virtual documents, some of the most likely people to be accused are employees, bank tellers, clerks, accountants, lawyers, supervisors, and company owners. Regardless of whether you’re charged through a state or federal court, embezzlement charges can be very serious. Depending on the degree of the crime, you may be looking at multiple years in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

When embezzlement cases are prosecuted in federal court, they typically fit into one of four subtypes: bank fraud, securities fraud, wire fraud, or mail fraud. In addition, most states have specific embezzlement statutes encoded into their laws.

In federal court and in most state courts, embezzlement encompasses four key elements:

  • A fiduciary relationship or position of trust or responsibility has been established between the two involved parties
  • The property or money was acquired by the defendant while they were in the position of trust
  • The property or money was taken for the benefit of the defendant or the benefit of someone who isn’t the other party
  • The defendant engaged in these actions intentionally, which means they consciously aimed to violate their position of trust by stealing the money

Fiduciary Relationships and Positions of Trust

This all seems fairly straightforward, but a fiduciary relationship and position of trust needs to be defined. There are no specific definitions for these terms put down in federal criminal law. However, federal sentencing guidelines address them. According to these guidelines, the terms can be used to describe anyone who uses managerial or professional discretion in handling of money. The person will usually have a good deal of freedom with how they use the money they’re responsible for, and they will undergo less rigorous supervision than non-responsible parties.

There’s also an insider trading law that applies to embezzlement. One important thing to note is that “insiders” don’t have to work for the company in question when the company’s security is traded. To be an “insider,” all you need is insider knowledge that would affect securities trading but isn’t public knowledge. If you hear non-public information that would affect a company’s stock or securities value, you cannot use that information for financial gain. A person is considered to have a fiduciary duty as soon as they have insider information.

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.

In terms of other outlined fraud crimes, a perpetrator can be any individual who has been entrusted with the money of another person. This doesn’t always have to be a corporate executive. It can be a toll collector, hotel clerk, or bank teller.

Embezzlement Penalties

Many states have embezzlement statutes that have different criminal definitions. Federal law doesn’t have a specific embezzlement crime, so a person will be tried based on one of the four subtypes of embezzlement-related fraud. If you are convicted of bank, securities, wire, or mail fraud in federal court, the sentence could be up to twenty years in prison accompanied by a $250,000 fine.

Regardless of the stage of an embezzlement investigation, it’s vital that you get in contact with an attorney. Maybe you’ve been contacted by an agent looking for information. Maybe you’ve been arrested or had charges pressed against you. You should never talk to law enforcement without legal representation, especially if you haven’t done anything wrong. The police and federal agents are not on your side, and a skilled lawyer can help.

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