We all have lapses in judgment sometimes, especially while at work. While most workers obey the law, some might be accused of committing a white-collar crime, specifically, embezzlement. This is concerning as embezzlement can lead to jail time, fines and can significantly damage your reputation in the workplace.
What is embezzlement?
As a worker, you may be entrusted with company funds. Your job is to ensure these funds are handled appropriately and you are entrusted to act in the best interests of your employer. Embezzlement occurs when you fraudulently take property not belonging to you that you were entrusted with. It does not matter whether you keep the property for yourself or transfer it to an outside party.
How does embezzlement occur?
There is a variety of ways embezzlement can occur. You might “skim off the top” meaning that you take small amounts of the assets you were entrusted with over a period of time. Embezzlement also occurs if you take a large amount of assets you were entrusted with all at once and then disappear. Embezzlement can also take place if you under-report income to your boss and then keep the difference for yourself.
Embezzlement charges are serious
Being charged with embezzlement is a serious situation. There are major consequences if you are convicted. For this reason, if you are accused of embezzling funds, you will want to make sure you understand your various criminal defense options so you can make appropriate decisions in your defense.