Embezzlement is one of the most common criminal allegations initiated against white collar workers who are in charge of managing large sums of money. At its core, an embezzlement charge accuses the suspect of stealing money from a company or client's account.
In order for prosecutors to convict someone of embezzlement, they must establish these four facts:
-- A fiduciary relationship existed between the accused person and the party that was harmed. This means that the harmed party was relying on the accused person and trusted that accused person would act in accordance with his or her best interest. For example, the embezzler might have been an accountant who helped manage and control the harmed party's financial assets.
-- The accused person acquired property that belonged to the harmed party by taking advantage of the fiduciary relation. In other words, the alleged "embezzler," needs to have used his or her access to the victim's personal assets as a fiduciary to steal them. Perhaps the fiduciary had access to the victim's checks and unlawfully wrote him- or herself a check each month.
-- The accused person took ownership of the stolen property or gave the property over to someone else's control.
-- The accused person acted in a manner that was intentional.
At our criminal defense legal practice, when a defendant comes to us regarding embezzlement charges, we will first review the facts of the case to determine whether the prosecution has a chance of proving the above four facts. Then, we will focus our client's defense strategy toward casting doubt on the weakest factual elements to reduce the chances and/or severity of conviction and punishment in the matter. If you're reading to get serious about your white collar crimes defense, our law firm can help.