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What is embezzlement and who could be accused?

It isn't any shock that money can make people greedy or make them act in ways they usually wouldn't. When a person is running low on funds and needs to make ends meet, it can turn into a desperate situation. While many people will push through tough financial times without major incident, others may be facing a world of trouble with white collar crime accusations related to embezzlement. But, what is embezzlement and who could be accused of such a crime?

The reality is that just about anyone could be charged with embezzlement if a person or a business believes that funds have been illegally funneled out. Embezzlement is defined as theft of assets, including money or property, by a person who is responsible for overseeing those assets. It often is seen in corporate settings, but small business can be affected by embezzlement as well. People accused of embezzlement are often given the job of overseeing assets like business accounts, financial accounts and are then accused of manipulating those accounts to funnel money or assets to themselves.

These people are given lawful and cleared access to accounts in terms of managing for business purposes, but then it takes a turn. Instead of managing the assets for the company, the person turns the assets over into their possession. Sometimes, it happens all in one swoop, and other times it is smaller amounts taken over a longer period of time. A fiduciary relationship must exist between the accused and the accuser if one is to prove embezzlement charges.

Depending on the details of the alleged crime, punishments can vary. The amounts taken can determine if the accusations are brought as a felony or misdemeanor charge. If you are facing embezzlement charges, it is important to contact an attorney to help with your defense.

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Donatoni & Crichton Attorneys at Law
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West Chester, PA 19380

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