Embezzlement is a common form of theft that usually occurs in a company setting. An embezzlement conviction can result in serious penalties.
There are numerous opportunities to be accused of a crime in the corporate world, particularly for those who are put in a position of authority or responsibility. White collar employees in Florida and elsewhere may find themselves caught up in an investment scheme or simply accused of skimming funds from a company’s accounts. Many of these allegations fall under the category of embezzlement.
Definition of embezzlement
In the white collar world, embezzlement can involve complicated charges, due to the complex nature of the alleged crime. According to the Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute, this is a type of theft that typically involves a person being in a position of trust over certain assets, such as an accountant or a department manager. Often, embezzlement cases occur in corporate settings, but they can involve employment positions across all levels. For example, the manager of a fast food restaurant may be accused of embezzling a small portion of the cash till at the end of every shift.
Embezzlement cases may range from simple to complex. An accountant might spend months or years withdrawing small amounts of money from the company’s accounts and adjusting the books so the theft is not noticed. On the other hand, an employee with access to significant funds might take a large portion at once and then attempt to leave without being caught.
Cash is not the only thing that can be affected by embezzlement. An employee who has been given control over company equipment or vehicles might attempt to take the equipment home permanently in the hopes that the theft would not be noticed, or sell it for profit.
Penalties for embezzlement in Florida
As one might expect with a complex white collar crime, an embezzlement conviction comes with serious consequences. According to the State of Florida’s website, embezzlement is often classified as a grand theft felony, which may result in imprisonment for up to 30 years, as well as fines ranging between $5,000 and $10,000.
Often, people who were accused or found out to have embezzled from their employers did not start out intending to steal from the company. An accountant experiencing personal financial difficulties might skim a small number of funds with the intent of repaying it later, only to end up over her head in debt and tempted to take larger amounts to get by. A manager might be coerced into participating in an investment pyramid, otherwise known as a Ponzi scheme, without realizing the potential legal ramifications.
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding an embezzlement accusation, it is important to seek experienced legal assistance from the Law Office of Frank A. Rubino.