Embezzlement charges are severe enough that you could be looking at multiple years in prison. The second you find out you’re being investigated, whether you’ve committed the acts in question or not, you should get in contact with a lawyer. If you don’t find out about the investigation until you’re arrested, make sure you invoke your right to an attorney. Don’t speak to the police without your lawyer present.
Embezzlement crimes can have a severe impact on a victim. There are people who have had their livelihoods and entire lives ruined due to another person’s embezzling. They have lost their family homes, been unable to provide for their loved ones, and even struggled to put food on the table.
Some embezzlement crimes have more of a direct impact than others. Small businesses, for example, tend to take a serious hit when people steal from them. A small business doesn’t have the insurance backup to have their lost wages replenished. Some businesses might go into bankruptcy or have to lay off employees who have worked at the company for years.
The amount of money being stolen also has an impact. When just a small amount of money is taken at one time, most businesses and individuals can bounce back. But when the theft is ongoing and dips into a significant percentage of a business or nonprofit’s earnings, it causes serious problems.
These are just some questions that victims of embezzlement often have to ask themselves when their financial troubles are finally realized:
- Can I pay off my student loans?
- Can I pay to go to school?
- Can I pay my rent or mortgage?
- Can I fulfill my legal commitments?
- Can I buy food this week?
- Can I give my kids the financial stability they deserve?
Charges and Their Severity
After you’ve initially been arrested, the DA’s office tends to work with the police and the judges. The DA’s office will build a preliminary case against you through the evidence that law enforcement has compiled. The prosecutor will typically be assertive in requesting certain bail amounts, jail time, certain restitution amounts, information about the person’s criminal record, and the sentence they’ll be seeking for the charges.
All of these things are established at the beginning of a case. The DA building a case does not automatically point to a person’s guilt. An individual is considered innocent until they are proven guilty. The person has not been convicted of a crime until they are officially sentenced. If you didn’t commit the crime you’re accused of, you have a right to a trial to prove your innocence. However, proceeding to trial instead of negotiating with the prosecutors may cause you to risk heavier penalties.
Embezzlement is a white collar crime, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t cause any damage. There may be individuals who have suffered greatly because of what was done. These individuals may have a chance to testify on behalf of the prosecution for the judge. When they establish what they’ve lost due to the embezzlement, the chances of leniency will become lower.
By the time you get arrested, the DA’s office has already compiled enough evidence to make an accusation stick. A competent DA will not jump into an arrest without sufficient evidence. The entire system is stacked against you, which is why you need a lawyer. No one in the justice system will be on your side except your lawyer, who you’ll need to trust implicitly to guide you through this.
Embezzlement in New York
Different states have different statutes and sentencing guidelines regarding embezzlement. New York is a unique situation because it’s home of Wall Street, the financial capital of America. A lot of white collar crime occurs in Wall Street businesses. As such, New York prosecutors tend to be more dedicated to white collar crime than prosecutors in more rural or less corporate-focused states.
The embezzlement crimes committed in New York can sometimes be on a larger scale because of the sheer amount of money and property that changes hands on a daily basis. The state is also home to more financial industries and hedge funds than anywhere else in the US.