What causes people to embezzle?

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2020 | Federal Crimes

Embezzlement is a very specific type of crime. Unlike ordinary theft or burglary, embezzlement requires you to be part of an organization and in a relatively trusted role. That generally only happens when you’ve been in a position of authority inside a company for some time.

Why on earth would someone throw all that hard-earned trust away? Researchers say that embezzlers, by and large, are not bad people who cavalierly engage in fraud. Instead, there are usually three factors that come into play before embezzlement happens:

  1. Individual pressure. Gambling addictions, drug dependencies, alcoholism and spending problems all have one thing in common: They’re expensive. Some people embezzle to fund their vices. Other people embezzle merely to hide them.
  2. An opportunity. You can’t embezzle if you aren’t in a position to do so. The lack of oversight you experience can sometimes lead to a feeling of invulnerability that makes a person willing to take chances.
  3. The ability to justify one’s actions. Many embezzlers do one of two things. They convince themselves that they’re owed something by the company after years of hard work and service or they promise themselves that the embezzlement is a temporary fix for their problems and vow to pay the money back before it is missed.

Embezzlement usually only happens when there’s a “perfect storm” of events in someone’s life driving their actions. If you’ve made mistakes and embezzled money from your company or employer, it’s important to recognize that you’re only human. (You’re also far from the first basically decent person who ever made the same mistake. In fact, only about 7% of people who embezzle have ever been in trouble with the law before.)

Find out how an experienced criminal defense attorney can help with your embezzlement case, before you get in any deeper.

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