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What is embezzlement?

On Behalf of | Mar 4, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

When someone is accused of embezzlement, they are essentially stealing from a company. They work for the company, and they are likely in a position of power – perhaps they are an executive at that company, for example, or they are in charge of financial accounts.

But embezzlement is also different from simply stealing money or other other assets. For example, some office workers are accused of theft after taking office supplies or computers home with them. But this is not an example of embezzlement, even when it is illegal. So what is the difference?

Misappropriating financial assets

The major difference with embezzlement is that it involves misappropriation, rather than outright theft.

With theft, the person who steals the assets was never supposed to have access to them at all. But with misappropriation, that person was officially granted access to those funds and just used them in a way that was not approved.

For example, someone who handles the financial accounts for a business may decide to transfer the money into their personal bank account. They’re still stealing from the business, but they were authorized to use those funds. They just failed to use them appropriately. 

They may also decide to doctor the books to try to hide the transfer of company funds. This is why being in a position of power is important. It gives someone the ability to access protected accounts and may also provide them with options to attempt to cover up that activity. 

Are you facing charges?

If you’re facing accusations of embezzlement or other serious crimes, they can have a major impact on your future and your career. Take the time to look into all of your legal defense options.